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Wind Power Down To 0.5% Today

November 15, 2017

By Paul Homewood


Who needs fossil fuels? All we need is batteries, demand response and a smart energy system, when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine!

So the theory goes anyway.

It’s just as well we’ve still got all of that old fashioned coal, gas and nuclear power today:



Wind power is currently down to just 228 MW, out of a total demand of 43306 MW, ie just 0.5%.

The grid is almost solely reliant on gas, coal and nuclear, which are currently supplying 40004 MW.


Meanwhile, solar power is doing little better. At its midday peak, it was generating at only 10% of its capacity.



When will somebody tell the emperor that he is wearing no clothes?

  1. HotScot permalink
    November 15, 2017 2:05 pm

    My garden is becalmed.

    And it’s overcast. So my little solar lights (Complete with battery storage) will probably last 5 minutes tonight.

    Ho Hum.

  2. A C Osborn permalink
    November 15, 2017 2:11 pm

    They wouldn’t listen anyway.
    Some have ben telling them for years and are just called “Deniers”, or “Flat Earthers” when in actual fact it is exactly the opposite.

    • Sheri permalink
      November 15, 2017 2:20 pm

      Isn’t it ironic that the “learned” among us are advocating a return to the technology of the 1800s with wind and an unproven, poorly performing solar “power” call those who object out of touch with the future?

      • Bitter&twisted permalink
        November 16, 2017 8:04 am

        Not all the “learned” are idiots.
        This Cambridge academic voted Brexit and is climate change sceptic.
        Admittedly I am in a minority.

  3. Sheri permalink
    November 15, 2017 2:20 pm

    As long as the checks keep rolling in from the government, the emperor will run about naked and could care less if anyone knows.

  4. NeilC permalink
    November 15, 2017 2:26 pm

    Well blow me down with a feather, who’d have thunk it, wind doesn’t blow all the time /sarc

  5. November 15, 2017 2:51 pm

    Coal: flat out
    Gas: flat out
    Nuclear: flat out
    Interconnects: flat out
    Hydro: flat out
    Biomass: flat out
    Wind & Solar: flat on their faces

    …and some still believe that the future is wind and solar. Fools.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      November 15, 2017 10:33 pm

      It must be a breezy evening over there. Wind has picked up to 8.3% (2230 GMT), only 1.2% behind coal.

      And I see you’re sending us the maximum 2Gw through the interconnector. Hope you’re getting a good price for it!

      Seriously, that might be good news to some but it only serves to point up just how unreliable these unreliables are!

      • Stuart Brown permalink
        November 16, 2017 7:45 pm

        Indeed, mon ami, Mike Jackson.

        And as the wind dies this evening to less than 10% of our needs and the sun has long set – having only reached 2.5GW of the promised 12GW for a few moments at noon – we are yet again burning coal. And a lot of gas.

        We don’t burn a lot of coal in the UK any more, so for wind to catch up with coal is no achievement. We are currently burning a lot of American trees and sending all of that electricity to you…

  6. Michael Brown permalink
    November 15, 2017 3:05 pm

    “All we need is batteries” – 😦 You must be joking! All we actially need is to get rid of expensive, unsightly, transmission-disruptive, bird-chopping wind turbines with their eye-watering subsidies and misleading propaganda from the vested interests associated with them and the world would be a better place and would make life more affordable especially for the impoverished! Take your regressive 19th centuries technology to remote communities and go and live with them there, but spare them from those with a more progressive outlook! At the minute (15.00 hr 15 Oct 2017) they are supplying 1.5% of power to the UK national grid despite the eye-watering investment, ruined landscapes and the rest!

  7. Jack Broughton permalink
    November 15, 2017 3:15 pm

    The cost of the spinning reserve to cover the solar unreliability probably exceeds any fuel savings. The carbon taxes are probably attractive to HMG, but the distorted economics of power generating are ruining UK heavy industry. Coal based generation should be costed at true value and UK industry would then have a chance of competing against the USA / Germany etc.

    Fortunately, gas prices are currently very low (in historical terms) so UK “policy” is not so bad as it will be when they rise again ….. when?

    • HotScot permalink
      November 15, 2017 6:00 pm

      Jack Broughto

      “The carbon taxes are probably attractive to HMG”

      All part of the cunning plot to pay back the money the Blair/Brown government spunked.

      Mind you, it’s not working, so doubtless they will find yet another stealth tax.

    • richard verney permalink
      November 16, 2017 2:43 pm

      But the high cost of energy, leaves the consumer with less money to spend. Given that the UK economy is now biased towards the consumer led service industry, impoverished consumers is bad for HM Government and the Exchequer.

  8. November 15, 2017 3:42 pm

    Here in the sunny and windy south west it is dull and totally calm. Fortunately demand for electricity is low as we haven’t reached winter with its peak cold.

  9. Tim Spence permalink
    November 15, 2017 3:57 pm

    I see that solar generation is ‘modelled’, I dont suppose wind output is similarly modelled from a select number of sites.

    • November 15, 2017 6:49 pm

      No, the solar figure comes from a different site, run by Sheffield University.

      The wind and other data is from the official BMRS (Balancing Mechanism Reporting Service) site. Their site describes how they work:

      This BMRS is the primary channel for providing operational data relating to the GB Electricity Balancing and Settlement arrangements. It is used extensively by market participants to help make trading decisions and understanding market dynamics and acts as a prompt reporting platform as well as a means of accessing historic data

  10. November 15, 2017 4:27 pm

    ‘Tis cold in Cumbria – and windless and sunless. Just as well they’ve got their Nuclear Power Station over there on the west coast! It needs a bit of lateral thinking. What they could do is collect up all those dead birds and feed them into a bio power station.

  11. rjwooll permalink
    November 15, 2017 5:03 pm

    We are often told that the (French and Dutch) interconnectors are there to help assure our power supply. Well, at the moment we’re sending electricity to both countries. Maybe they need it because they have no wind or solar either? Also, in these not particularly cold conditions, our conventional energy sources (coal, gas (CCGT), and nuclear) seem to be pretty much maxed out as I write. I hope the wind will blow and the sun shine if it does get colder.

    • richard verney permalink
      November 16, 2017 2:47 pm

      How much solar can one get in medium high latitude countries between mid November and the end of February? not simply are the hours of daylight short, these periods are rather cloudy, and even when there are clear skies, the angle of incidence is still low such that there is reduced effective energy in the solar insolation received.

      There is a reason why one does not sun bathe in December, even though (on rare days) it might be just as sunny as a June day.

  12. November 15, 2017 5:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    I noticed all our local wind farms becalmed today apart from a couple of turbines turning slowly, I suspect under motor power to keep the bearings from seizing. What an utter nonsense this all is, how the eff did we get into this situation? Presumably it will take years and years of increasing blackouts and probably many fatalities due to old people freezing to death and closed hospitals, before politicians will come to their senses. And don’t get me started on the cost. Speaking of which NPower just sent me a very nice text today to apply for a smart meter, yet more of our money down the drain. Wonderful.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      November 15, 2017 6:56 pm

      I trust you told them what to do with their smart meter…

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      November 15, 2017 11:07 pm

      Please note that “smart meters” are not very smart;
      same with common sense — it is not very common.
      Both named inappropriately.

  13. Athelstan permalink
    November 16, 2017 12:09 am

    Whirlygigs are less useful than are chocolate teapots.

    Still, dave’s [camoron] father in law is making a fortune out of the plebs with his very own subsidized bird mincers and how many others making a mint out of the consumer and taxpayers?

    Wind power; an awful lot of dosh, some spin and not so much turn, even negative spin – for not a lot of juice.

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