Thursday, 13 October 2016

Intermittent Wind Power in UK

I've posted on this topic before. Here is another comment by Richard Verney on a Watts Up With That? post.


* Griff October 13, 2016 at 12:50 am

Well yes, but in winter the wind is usually blowing in the UK.

In December 2015 UK got 18% of all electricity from wind.

So its solar in summer, wind in winter.


* richard verney October 13, 2016 at 2:02 am

Not so.

The winter of 2009/10 was an extremely cold and snowy one. It was said to be a 1 in 30 year winter. Ironically, the winter of 2010/11 was even colder and even more snowy. It was said to be a 1 in 100 event.

In both cases this was due to a blocking high sitting NE of the UK. It stayed there for about 1 month.

I monitored wind energy every day during this period (for both winters). For the main part it produced between 3 to 5% of nameplate capacity. On a few days it managed 8% of nameplate capacity On many days it was less than 3% with many days being less than 1%.

When wind is producing less than 1% nameplate capacity in these conditions it is consuming energy. This is required for heaters and to keep the turbine slowly turning. This is probably the case even when producing 2 to 3% of nameplate capacity.

Had the UK been dependent on wind to produce energy during these winters, there would have been 1000s of deaths. Fortunately power was supplied by conventional fossil fuel generation and the nuclear via the French inter connect, the latter was straining because it also had to supply NW Europe in general.

During this blocking high, Germany, and I expect Holland and Denmark, encountered similar conditions.

The fact is that just when wind is needed most (cold winters), wind is often in a drought!

February 2012: Winter blocking high in Europe

This UK Met Office pressure chart shows a blocking high over Europe, supplying cold, polar air across much of the continent and blocking out milder air from over the Atlantic. This blocking high brought temperatures of -20°C (-4°F), killed hundreds of people in Eastern Europe and even brought snow to the Sahara, as this BBC video explains.

See also Wikipedia: Winter of 2010–11 in Great Britain and Ireland

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