Constraint payments are made by the National Grid to balance supply and demand across the electricity network on warm, windy days when turbines can produce a lot of electricity that is not needed. This is the most efficient option to balance supply and demand, keep costs down for consumers and ensure secure and reliable electricity. The other option to manage the surplus amount of electricity produced, would be to build more electricity transmission infrastructure. This would be more costly, meaning consumers’ bills would rise. I am aware that National Grid continuously weigh up constraint costs versus the cost of building an asset in a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis
Onshore wind is an important component in helping us reach Net Zero. Although the development of onshore wind capacity is important to realise our Net-Zero ambitions, it is important that due consideration is given to any possible negative side effects. I am pleased therefore that in Scotland, new projects must give consideration to a number of factors, such as landscape impact, impacts on wildlife and habitat, and on communities. Unfortunately, we have seen the SNP Government, many times ignore the needs of rural communities by approving multiple onshore wind farms despite receiving an average of seven objections a day. This is not a government that cares for the needs of rural Scotland, when about of 21,600 complaints on this issue were submitted to the Scottish Government between 2013 and 2020.
Energy policy in Scotland should be focused on outcomes. Moving forwards, an energy policy can be established which delivers reliable and affordable energy, seizing the opportunities associated with new technologies, and meeting our climate change commitments.