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Wind Output 40% Down On Last Year

July 19, 2018

By Paul Homewood



AS Britain continues to swelter in the heat, the blades of country’s wind turbines are turning incredibly slowly in the face of a nationwide “wind drought” which has seen a dramatic drop in the amount of energy produced.

By Ciaran McGrath

PUBLISHED: 11:08, Wed, Jul 18, 2018 | UPDATED: 11:28, Wed, Jul 18, 2018


Right now wind turbines throughout Britain are moving very slowly – if at all

New figures compiled by Imperial College London’s Rod Gross revealed July’s wind output was down by 40 percent so far compared with the same period last year.

He said: “We’ve been typically doing between two to three gigawatts of wind [generation].

“At a windier time of the year we might be doing nine or 10.”

The unusual stillness in the air is the result of a sustained period of high, dense pressure over the UK, according to the Met Office.

A Met Office spokesman said: “It’s like a lid, it keeps everything still.

“From the forecast looking out over the next couple of weeks, there doesn’t seem to be any significant change on the way.”

A National Grid spokesman said: “Between June 4 and July 15 wind generation was around 30 per cent lower compared to the same period last year.

“Electricity demand is low and we’re comfortable with the level of spare generation we have available.

Dense pressure over the UK

“As we continue to transition to a low carbon energy system, managing the intermittency of renewable power is an important role in balancing supply and demand.

“However, we have planned for these changes and ready to play our part.”

  1. July 19, 2018 9:15 am

    There does seem to have been remarkably little wind recently in the North East at least.
    Some days have been almost “dead calm” for hours on end.
    Unfortunately there is little in the way of MO data to say what the long-term trends are in wind.

  2. Athelstan permalink
    July 19, 2018 9:31 am

    “However, we have planned for these changes and ready to play our part.”


    Crank up those subsidy diesel burners!

    • Gamecock permalink
      July 19, 2018 3:16 pm

      Exactly. You need generating capacity. ‘Ready to play our part’ means what? You are ready to cut power to some? You have your lists made of whom to cut off?

      You’ve updated your phone list of auxiliary suppliers?

      Planning will power how many homes?

      • Athelstan permalink
        July 19, 2018 3:33 pm

        OH yes, all of that is factored in believe it as I know you do.

      • July 19, 2018 9:18 pm

        Yes there are lists of who to cut off, but they’re businesses who’ve signed up to get paid to be on the hit list, and paid again if/when the power is inadequate to go round all users.

        Another cost of unreliable power generation.

  3. Richard permalink
    July 19, 2018 9:35 am

    What plans has the National Grid got to deal with this?
    Perhaps they should get all the supporters of wind power to stand in front of the turbines and blow on them with all their might.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 19, 2018 12:44 pm

      This is confidential but I have seen a leaked report that packs of baked beans and half-price curry vouchers will be delivered to all properties in times of future wind drought.

  4. Bidefordcamel permalink
    July 19, 2018 10:05 am

    But our government has signed up to massive reductions in CO2 emissions. The more we engage in this idiotic plan, the more intermittent will our power supply become.
    Don’t panic chaps, we’ve got Elon’s big batteries to save us.

    • Bitter@twisted permalink
      July 19, 2018 5:10 pm


  5. July 19, 2018 10:06 am

    Will 40% less wind power in the future mean 40% fewer EVs on the roads?

    • Dave Ward permalink
      July 20, 2018 9:19 am

      Probably – they will all be sitting in their owners driveways with flat batteries, as the grid will have sucked all the juice out in desperate attempts to keep the lights on…

  6. July 19, 2018 10:09 am

    Wind Drought is a great and important concept, one that the BBC and Met Office will have to be forced to acknowledge.

    • July 19, 2018 10:15 am

      Is that wind drought the result of climate change or is it the result of all those wind turbines extracting energy from the wind or is it the result of a weakening sun? Answers to Greg Clark so that he can sort it out in the way that only Government Ministers can.

    • Athelstan permalink
      July 19, 2018 11:17 am

      “At times, wind power was the main provider of the the nation’s electricity.

      The next closest was gas, accounting for 20.3 per cent. Nuclear and coal made up just over 30 per cent between them (17.6 and 12.9 per cent, respectively). ” /quote.

      The Mail does it again and another fact light, a school boyish standard report.

      Ah, the thing is, burning gas to produce electricity is a lunacy of the first order, and coal and nuclear provide, reliable large scale unvarying base load, something which wind can never hope to achieve and that’s the difference.

      As coal plant is wound down and shut, each new Winter, will be the real test. A series of blocking anti cyclones is possible in winter, anything longer than 10 days in January and we’re in really deep cowdoings, if it is cold across Europe, the interconnectors will ‘run dry’, no wind and with coal generating capacity almost gone – a shut down of a major nuclear facility, the usual winter shortage of gas…………. what’s going to make up the shortfall – not PV arrays that’s for sure nor, STOR.

      Lights out for industry – first, hospital emergency generators running at full tilt, next workforce laid off – three days weeks, shops shut, brown outs and finally, for everyone, it all goes black, it will be mad, it will mean death for many, not just through cold.

  7. July 19, 2018 11:27 am

    Average wind speeds since 2010 for July, from my own ws seem to confirm my impression that winds have been unusually light this year:

    2010 7.2
    2011 4.3
    2012 5.8
    2013 4.5
    2014 4.4
    2015 5.7
    2016 5.7
    2017 5.4
    2018 2.7

    • spetzer86 permalink
      July 19, 2018 4:30 pm

      Sun’s been spotless for 22 days. Longest since 2009. Probably no connection.

  8. July 19, 2018 11:30 am

    Good job nobody has air conditioning yet. That could change pretty fast when people get fed up and businesses realize they do better when they can keep their customers and workers cool.

    • Bitter@twisted permalink
      July 19, 2018 5:13 pm

      I do and it’s been in regular use this summer (for a change).
      It really does make for a good night’s sleep.
      Plus it annoys the Hell out of our virtue-signalling neighbours.

  9. E J Cook permalink
    July 19, 2018 11:40 am

    Wait till we all have EV’s and run the A/C flat out. What then?

  10. Simon from Ashby permalink
    July 19, 2018 12:17 pm

    “However, we have planned for these changes and ready to play our part.”


    in the latest government wheeze the Dept of Health and the DECC have got together and decided to set up banks of treadmills similar to those in gymnasiums but rigged up to generate electricity.

    Where a GP diagnoses a person as obese they will be required to attend the treadmill banks until their weight has come down to a healthy level.

    97% of participants in the scheme have a 95% confidence that at a trivial cost of £3billion at least 500.000 homes will be able to make a cup of tea ………….probably ………….possibly ………..maybe ………….maybe not.

    • Silver Dynamite permalink
      July 19, 2018 12:21 pm

      Good ideas, why not also use hamsters?

  11. Bloke down the pub permalink
    July 19, 2018 12:18 pm

    SSE’s profits hit by over exposure to wind generation.

  12. A C Osborn permalink
    July 19, 2018 12:30 pm

    I think a 40% reductuon is an under estimate, if we get anything like this next winter it is going to get interesting to say the least.
    You will notice that the Grid says they have it “under control”, well let’s see how under control it will be when the Coal generation disappears.

  13. July 19, 2018 12:51 pm

    Is there some inverse correlation between wind and sun in summer? As wind has gone down, sunshine hours have gone up. Solar panel generation is way up on the average rate.

    • July 19, 2018 2:07 pm

      Yes, but its not cause and effect, both have the same cause, its summer!
      Actually, its not been particularly sunny here, due to coastal cloud.

    • TinyCO2 permalink
      July 19, 2018 2:35 pm

      Wind = low pressure = cloudy. Sun = high pressure = still. Ish.

  14. Jack Broughton permalink
    July 19, 2018 1:15 pm

    Surprised that Climate change has not been blamed, as it is for any other event.
    However, the serious point that is continually overlooked is that the UK is about 80% dependent upon imported energy whose costs are low at this moment… .. but tomorrow?

    In addition our power generation system has the lowest storage back-up ever: we used to store gas in caverns and coal at power stations: what storage is there in the whole grid system now?

    Drax should be converted back to coal and any un-destroyed coal fired power stations should be re-furbished urgently …… .however, our energy systems are overseen by people who “always voted at my parties call and never thought of thinking for myself at all”.

    • Athelstan permalink
      July 19, 2018 3:35 pm

      bang on the money.

  15. Bloke down the pub permalink
    July 19, 2018 1:24 pm

    Meanwhile, I got this off the twitter feed of @BackingFracking .

  16. July 19, 2018 3:20 pm

    Spent 5 days in lowland Scotland last month, compared with England, windmills everywhere. A good half were motionless, even though there was enough wind to drive them. Perfect illustration of their use for income generation as opposed to ‘for the good of the UK’

    • Athelstan permalink
      July 19, 2018 3:36 pm

      Indeed, the irony is not at all lost on the Scotsnastyparty.

  17. John Peter permalink
    July 19, 2018 3:37 pm

    Remember 1995/96 winter with – I think – around three or more weeks with -5C during day and -15C (at least here in Scotland) during night and NO WIND and only brief sunlight. This was across Dec/Jan. I wonder how prepared the National Grid is for such a repeat occurrence?

    • dave permalink
      July 19, 2018 5:03 pm

      “…such a repeat occurrence…”

      Or 1946/47 or 1962/63 or…

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      July 19, 2018 7:03 pm

      A rhetorical question I think. It is clearly not prepared for such events, or indeed a loss of gas supply to the UK. Also, if / when another oil (and hence gas) price-hike occurs energy costs will be beyond most people.

      During the famous 1970s droughts, the then government found magic-Denis Howells, they should be able to find dozens of Ministers of Wind!

  18. Ben Vorlich permalink
    July 19, 2018 7:02 pm

    Then there’s this

    Japanese researchers have taken the first steps to understand how the Sun’s rotational cycle influences lightning activity on Earth. The answers were found in diaries dating back to the 1700s.

  19. bobn permalink
    July 19, 2018 8:39 pm

    Meat, Dairy Industry Surpass Big Oil As World’s Biggest Polluters

    Just to keep you laughing. Standby for electric cows.

  20. J Martin permalink
    July 19, 2018 9:01 pm

    “As we continue to transition to a low carbon energy system”. What a joke. Except that no matter how many wind turbines and solar panels are installed, co2 output fails to drop, they need only look to Germany and Denmark and Australia to see that they are not going to be transitioning to a low carbon economy unless they build nuclear.

  21. July 19, 2018 9:01 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Now where are the articles telling us how wonderful wind power is?

    • A C Osborn permalink
      July 20, 2018 8:15 pm

      It doesn’t look like a 40% reduction, more like 60%.

  22. Graeme No.3 permalink
    July 19, 2018 10:32 pm

    I think you had better prepare for a long blackout. Only that will concentrate the minds** of the politicians and senior public servants onto the problem. Judging from experience in South Australia they will panic, run around in circles and claim that existing policy is perfect except it needs a big battery (2.6 minutes at peak load) and lots of new diesel generators.

    **loose description.

    Judging by SA’s experience you will have to rely on your nuclear plants (CCGTs in our case). We had 13 occasions in June when the wind farms barely, if that, generated enough to keep themselves on standby. The interconnectors ran hot and some of the diesels got a workout. The winds started blowing in July and the CCGT gas generation has been cut to the minimum allowed, and with the interconnectors running hot sending the excess to Victoria, the windfarms have been limited to 70% output. There are claims that SA needs a new interconnector to NSW (which is short of electricity owing to shutting down a number of coal fired power stations.
    As Tennyson might have put it “Fools to the right, Lunatics to the Left, into the Valley of Darkness..”

  23. markl permalink
    July 20, 2018 3:30 am

    So the need for reliable back up power is being realized after the fact. No matter who/what they blame it on they will never assume the responsibility they own. People will take notice.

  24. Bill permalink
    July 20, 2018 11:46 am

    Meanwhile in Cardiff.

    Love the irony: here is the Cardiff 100% green electric bus – being charged up by a diesel generator! Someone has got their maths wrong, or my physics A level was a waste.— Dick Sibley (@dicksibley) July 18, 2018

    “Love the irony: here is the Cardiff 100% green electric bus – being charged up by a diesel generator!”

    • July 20, 2018 12:36 pm

      Notice the false tweets by Drax in the comments here? The 80% reduction claimed is entirely based on the DEEMED official definition that biofuel is carbon neutral which is complete nonesense. In fact wood pellets increase CO2 emissions in comparison with coal. In BOTH cases the CO2 is eventually sequestered by photosynthesis et al across the globe by increased greening.

    • July 20, 2018 11:25 pm

      Story broke May 24th
      A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: “The diesel generator is not a permanent fixture and is used solely for the trial as a temporary connection to the electricity network is not possible.

      “When electric buses are fully introduced, the charging points will be permanent and charged directly from the mains, with no generator required.”

      (It’s a great way of avoiding road tax though .. move the engine outside of the bus. )

  25. July 20, 2018 1:51 pm

    As I commented on cli scep :

    I wonder if some corporate execs are getting lukewarm about climate change. Look at the first quarter results from SSE:

    “The weather across the UK and Ireland has an impact on production of energy from renewable sources (Wholesale), the operation of electricity transmission and distribution businesses (Networks) and the amount of gas and electricity used by customers (Retail). In the three months to 30 June 2018:

    · Hydro output was higher than the same period in 2017, mainly due to higher snow melt in the period. However, hydro output in both Q1-17/18 and Q1-18/19 was below expected levels, with Q1-18/19 around 20% lower than plan.

    · Poorer than average wind conditions in Q1-18/19 have resulted in output from onshore and offshore wind farms being around 15% lower than plan.

    · The temperature in the UK across the 3 months to 30 June 2018 was 1.5 degrees centigrade warmer than the thirty-year average. This led to average domestic gas demand being around 10% lower than plan.

    In addition to dry, still and warm weather, the financial year so far has also been characterised by persistently high gas prices. All of this has resulted in a higher cost of energy, lower than expected output of electricity from renewable sources and lower volumes of energy being consumed.

    This has negatively impacted on SSE’s adjusted operating profit in Q1-18/19 by around £80m, compared with plan, and this will potentially impact on its full year results – dependent on the range of factors that apply in its market-based businesses, in which energy portfolio management is a major influence. ”

    So gas was expensive and wind power did not fulfil its potential. Even worse, they had to use coal for 201 GWh compared with 0 for the same period last year, even though demand for electricity was lower. How will the planet recover from this deadly setback?

  26. Macha permalink
    July 20, 2018 2:11 pm

    The perversity of it all..end up paying someone Not to use power so some ekse can…doh!

  27. RAH permalink
    July 20, 2018 8:47 pm

    Yep, that’s the way they are. Buy into the climate change scam and the claim it will make the weather wacky as they sink billions into a power generation system that requires an aspect of the weather to not be wacky to work. All done in the name of preventing the weather from becoming wacky.

  28. July 20, 2018 11:04 pm

    BBC article on poor wind power this season , has open comments
    Be quick they’ll close it

    • mikewaite permalink
      July 21, 2018 10:34 am

      The BBC have got to close it , most comments on the first pages are very anti- wind.
      I expect a vigorous counter blast on “costing the earth” or from Heap on CountryFile on Sunday.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      July 22, 2018 2:33 pm

      Looking at the comments now they are closed I note a lot of support for tidal power, despite it having be panned in excoriating fashion when the government finally announced it was not going ahead. Such is the level of mis-education of the general public.

  29. July 20, 2018 11:05 pm

    Not a Big surprise
    BBC Smart meters to cut energy bills by just £11, say MPs

  30. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 21, 2018 11:44 am

    BBC radio was ‘making up’ records to reinforce the climate propaganda again this morning.

    A slightly new technique for them, the pre-announcement (imply it will be a whole summer record) combined with very selective criteria and then creep to include another metric.

    According to the BBC it is the ‘driest’ start to summer since records began, and presenters have ‘spontaneously’ (I think) converted this to the ‘hottest’ start to summer since records began.

    We are now measuring things according to ‘modern records’ apparently, and this is since 1961 (yes certain Met stats are collected in a certain way since 1961, but obviously earlier and much earlier data exists). Normally they cut off in 1910 to create a record, ignoring all the earlier data.

    So actually it is the driest part of a summer to an arbitrary point since 1961. WOW!!!!!

    But the BBC is deliberately giving the impression it IS/WILL BE the driest/hottest summer evahhh!!!!!!!

    (As I recollect there was rain on the last 2 days of May, so shift summer 2 days and you have no record presumably. And of course you can always switch between Astronomical/Meteorological summer for your driest summer ever it it suits better.)

    If you can’t contrive some sort of weather ‘record’, you haven’t got a pulse.

  31. July 21, 2018 6:14 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  32. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 21, 2018 9:30 pm

    BBC TV news has given up all doubt/qualification now (in a story on a canal), “…in what is the driest summer on record.” Unqualified by region, time period, record duration…..
    Sloppy reporting at its worst.

    • dave permalink
      July 22, 2018 7:31 am

      “Sloppy reporting…”

      The BBC’s torrent of carefully crafted ear-worms is deliberate.

      The problem lies with the sloppy listeners, who continue to lap up the kool-aid.

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