Thousands of households in the UK were left with a different type of ‘bill shock’ after their energy provider was reportedly paying people to use excess electricity produced by large-scale windfarms off its coastline.
The news comes via The Guardian who is reporting that “homes using a new type of smart energy tariff were urged to plug in their electric vehicles and set their dishwasher on a timer to take advantage of record renewables in the early hours of the morning.”
Windy conditions off the UK coastline helped the offshore windfarms produce as much as 45% of the UK’s electricity demand; setting a new record of 16-gigawatts of electricity in the evening, more wind power than was necessary to power the UK’s electricity grid; the previous record was set in February this year, which saw wind power provide 15.32-gigawatts of electricity to the grid.
In total, electricity that evening was sourced from 45% wind power, 20.5% nuclear-sourced power, 12.8% gas, 7.9% biomass, 7.4% imports, 3.1% coal, 1.3% solar and 1.6% from storage and other means of electricity production.
Luke Clark, Director of Strategic Communications at Renewable UK said that “this new British clean energy record is a great early Christmas present, and shows just how important wind is in a clean energy system that’s changing rapidly.”
“On a dark cold Sunday when we need it most, wind was providing more than 40% of our power, far more than any other source of electricity. Wind energy is at the heart of our modern power system, enabling us to take practical action against dangerous climate change.”
Duncan Burt, head of the National Grid thanked households that were able to utilise the excess electricity to balance the grid, adding that those households were “getting paid to use more energy on a windy night.”
According to The Guardian, “in the past, only energy-intensive companies would be able to claim a fee for helping to balance the system by making use of extra electricity. However, homes using smart-meter tariffs can lay claim to a renewables windfall, too.”
We’ve reported numerous times on the UK’s recent moves to become the world’s leading provider of renewable power thanks to large offshore wind farms.