UK wind curtailment cost in past two years put at GBP 806m

Image by Drax.

June 9 (Renewables Now) - Wind generation curtailment in the UK cost consumers GBP 806 million (USD 1bn/EUR 942m) in 2020 and 2021, according to a report commissioned by UK biomass generator Drax Group Plc (LON:DRX)

The report, prepared by Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP) and published on Wednesday, says that 3.5 TWh of wind generation was curtailed in 2020, with curtailment declining to 2.3 TWh in 2021 due to low wind output and a bounce-back of demand after the Covid restrictions. The power wasted in these two years would have been enough to supply 800,000 homes a year.

The cost of curtailment, however, increased from GBP 299 million in 2020 to GBP 507 million in 2021, due to the high gas prices towards the end of 2021 as the system uses gas power to manage periods when wind turbines are turned off, which also leads to increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

As much as 82% of the cost in 2020 and 2021 was from curtailing wind in Scotland.

Drax said long-duration storage is part of the solution and called for a new regulatory framework to encourage private investment in this technology.

“The UK is a world-leader in offshore wind, but for the country’s green energy ambitions to be realised we need the right energy storage infrastructure to support this vital technology, make the system secure and reduce costs,” said Penny Small, Drax’s group generation director.

The company has recently submitted an application for a 600-MW pumped storage hydro power station at its existing Cruachan plant in Scotland.

(GBP 1 = USD 1.255/EUR 1.169)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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