Data released by one of the largest green energy companies shows wind farms producing enough electricity only to boil two to three kettles at a time.
At one stage last week, three big wind farms even took electricity out of the National Grid – to run basic power supplies on site – rather than actually supplying electricity to households.
The wind farms’ owner said that in still conditions electricty “import” can occur for a few hours until the wind picks up. Such a phenomenon is known in the industry as “parasitic consumption”.
The data reveals just how much electricity is being generated by each wind farm at a given moment.
It is published by RWE npower renewables, a subsidiary of a German energy company operating 27 wind farms across England, Scotland and Wales,
The figures show just how little electricity giant turbines produce at certain times bolstering claims by critics that wind turbines cannot be relied upon to provide a constant source of electricity.
The Telegraph examined a snapshot of RWE’s own figures on Thursday afternoon last week. One wind farm Trysglwyn, which is in Anglesey in Wales, was producing a total of 6 kilowatts (KW) – just enough to boil two kettles each with 3KW of power.
The wind farm has 14 turbines and a theoretical capacity of 5.6 megawatts (MW). In other words, the wind farm was producing just 0.001 per cent of its maximum capacity.
Little Cheyne Court wind farm, which consists of 26 turbines each of them 377ft high, was producing 129KW of electricity last Thursday afternoon.
The wind farm, which was hugely controversial when it was built at a cost of £50 million on the site of Romney Marsh in Kent, is the largest in the south east of England.