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Wind Power Slumps In Q2

September 30, 2014

By Paul Homewood 





The Telegraph reported last week on the slump in wind power output during the April – June quarter, because of low wind speeds. Compared to a year before, output fell by about 20%, despite a 15% increase in capacity.

This meant that wind turbines were operating at below 20% capacity through the quarter.

The issue has already been dealt with elsewhere, so I don’t want to dwell on it. But I did notice this comment (also in the Daily Mail):


While wind power output fell, the amount of electricity generated from solar farms soared by 67 per cent, to 1.2TWh.

The rise was in line with a near-identical increase in the amount of solar capacity installed.

Ministers have admitted that solar farms have been installed far more rapidly than they had expected, thanks to costs falling and developers taking advantage of generous subsidies.

In May they announced they were closing a subsidy scheme two years earlier than planned to stop the spread of the farms, which critics say are blighting the countryside.

Ministers originally anticipated between 2.4-4GW of large-scale solar being installed by 2020. Yet the latest DECC statistics show that the upper end of that range has now been exceeded, with 4.1GW installed by the end of June.



At least they are honest enough to admit that subsidies, paid for by consumers, have been far too generous. But just to put the “67% increase” into perspective, I show below the contribution of solar to overall electricity generation in the quarter.






Even during a very sunny quarter, solar managed to operate at no more than 14% capacity, though this was a big improvement on Q1 when it managed just 4%!



Spring 2014 Sunshine 1961 - 1990 anomaly

  1. John F. Hultquist permalink
    September 30, 2014 2:16 pm

    In other news, due to lack of wind, those suffering from energy poverty and living in drafty houses have noticed a marked improvement in their quality of life.

  2. Joe Public permalink
    September 30, 2014 3:49 pm

    We must do something about climate change!

    Less wind, more sunlight. Perhaps a good dose of CO2 from fossil-fuel burning will restore normality?

  3. Streetcred permalink
    September 30, 2014 10:00 pm

    What are the downstream effects of extracting energy from the wind ?

    • Joe Public permalink
      October 1, 2014 5:52 pm


  4. Ben Vorlich permalink
    October 1, 2014 2:40 pm

    Using data from here,

    and a very simple calculation I got wind at 4.9% for Q2, using the same method I got 5.1% for the quarter just finished, on that basis I would say that the official figures will show about 5.5% for wind in Q3.

  5. Andy DC permalink
    October 1, 2014 8:52 pm

    I thought climate change was supposed to cause all sorts of awful storms. Instead sunny and calm. The effects of climate change (if any) appear to be mostly benign.

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