Richard is away plane spotting so I’ll try to do my bit for the cause… Booker’s column in the Sunday Telegraph today spreads the word to more readers that under the Government’s STOR (Short Term Operating Reserve) scheme, the National Grid has been signing up, at vast expense, thousands of diesel-driven stand-by generators to provide instantly available power to “balance the grid” when the wind isn’t blowing.
As Booker explains, so huge are the sums the grid is offering to make this power available that hundreds of canny investors have seen that this is one of the great money-making rackets of our time. In old industrial sites, quarries and supermarket premises all over the country they are piling in to install dedicated “generator parks”, capable of producing up to 100 megawatts (MW), in return for “availability payments” of up to £47,000 a year for each MW of their capacity. They then receive additional payment for the amount of electricity they actually feed to the grid, giving them an equivalent of £600 for each MW hour supplied – 12 times the going market rate.
What does this mean for energy customers? Before long STOR alone will be adding five per cent, or £1 billion a year, to our electricity bills. Yet no one involved wants to talk about it. This is a scam so colossal that it makes the owners of those useless wind farms, who get subsidies of 100 or 150 per cent, seem miserably underpaid. As Booker puts it, this new energy scandal makes the wind industry look underpaid. And that is exactly what this is, a scandal.
In the name of decarbonising our economy and fighting climate change, ordinary customers like you and me are footing the bill for inadequate and grotesquely expensive wind energy solution that simply doesn’t work. To make up the shortfall in wind energy’s capacity to deliver the power we need, the government is encouraging – with even more of our money – the construction an even more grotesquely expensive back up solution powered by hydrocarbon fossil fuel. STOR is best described as the Government scheme to make corporates richer at your expense, which exposes the fight against CO2 as a blatant fraud.