Re: Not just windmill nutters
"Particularly those who peddled the ROC insanity, which has turned a simple engineering solution to low carbon electricity into an economic nightmare for the consumer."
But without ROCs (and LECs, and soon to be CFDs see note1) the windmills wouldn't have been built. What place is there in a sane energy system architecture for non-despatchable intermittent plant with load factors that vary from poor to unfeasibly poor, and which wouldn't offer an economic return on prevailing wholesale prices?
And that's before the compounding mistake of applying the merit curve rules, that give a de-facto must run status for renewables. The original merit curve design of allowing the plant with the lowest marginal cost onto the system was a really good, practical approach for despatchable plant. Now it means that renewables take load that would otherwise have gone to despatchable plant (fossil, storage, or nuclear), those plants are still needed but now are uneconomic due to reduced loads, so we need yet another subsidy cludge, this time to pay subsidies under the guise of a capacity guarantee. And even then, due to incompetent law maker and incompetent mechanism design, we'll be making fat and unnecessary capacity payments to the UK nuclear fleet who would have continued to run anyway, and maybe even to the French nuclear fleet, as they're likely to bid the interconnector into the Capacity Mechanism auctions.
If you actively set out to deliver the worst, most complex, inefficient, costly energy system you could, you'd end up with something like the UK now has.
Note 1: For those not familiar, Renewable Obligation Certificates and Levy Exemption Certificates are tradeable bits of paper that are issued to (eg) wind power operators for each MWh generated over and above the wholesale power prices they get paid. They sell these on to fossil generators who have to buy them, and this creates the subsidies for wind power. In future wind power will be paid under a scheme called "Contracts for Difference", where they directly get paid an amount of subsidy on top of the wholesale price, thus cutting out the not very hard work of having to trade the ROCs and LECs.