WIND farms across Great Britain are returning millions of pounds to customers for the first time, helping soften some of the blow from a massive spike in energy prices.
Offshore wind farms paid back nearly PS117 million for the final three months of last year, while onshore producers returned more than PS40 million. The payments are due to a complicated subsidy scheme which forces renewable energy generators to repay some of the money they charge if prices rise above a certain point.
Electricity prices have soared due to a spike in global gas costs This means that energy bills are likely to spike by around 50% to around PS2,000 per year. But the payments from wind farms will help cushion a small part of this blow. "We are sending a cheque back to the Government," ScottishPower chief executive Keith Anderson said.
Dr Simon Cran-McGreehin, head of analysis at the Energy and Climate Change Intelligence Unit, said that the price of wind turbines was dropping rapidly and that, as a consequence, such repayments could become more regular in the future.