They will be paid to mothball, rather than demolish, power stations taken out of service.
The plans come as oil and coal plants are being closed due to European Union directives, which have been introduced to cut emissions that scientists have said lead to climate change.
The move is being planned after Ofgem, the energy regulator, warned of electricity shortages within the next three years.
Ofgem said the measure was needed because new wind farms and nuclear plants have not been built in time to replace the oil and coal power stations being phased out.
Critics of wind power said turbines were flawed because they do not generate electricity when there is little wind, while plans for nuclear power stations have yet to reach the construction stage.