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Wind Power Down To 0.7%

January 24, 2019

By Paul Homewood






As many have been pointing out as the day has gone along, things have been getting pretty tight on the power grid. Above is the current situation at 5.30pm.

Wind power has supplied little all day, and is currently running at under 2% of capacity. Solar power of course is effectively irrelevant at this time of year.

Meanwhile, CCGT has been running flat out, and so too is nuclear given that Hunterston is currently shut down.

The government intends to close all coal power plants by 2025, which can realistically only be replaced by 13GW of CCGT, about half of our total capacity now, and equivalent to fifteen Carrington power stations.

Construction of Carrington took three years, but planning added a further five years.

Given that there is very little in the pipeline at the moment for new CCGT and the uncertainty surrounding future capacity auctions thanks to the ECJ, there seems to be little prospect that anything like 13GW will be available by 2025, or for that matter many years after.

  1. Crosspatch permalink
    January 24, 2019 6:22 pm

    This would could all be avoided if people would simply go back to living in mud huts. It’s their own fault.

    • January 25, 2019 10:02 am

      Alternatively if everyone in the country switched on all their appliances and broke the grid, someone on high might get the message.

  2. BLACK PEARL permalink
    January 24, 2019 6:43 pm

    Perhaps home generators wont just be the preserve of the ‘off griders’ in the future

    • HotScot permalink
      January 25, 2019 12:30 am


      I’m planning to retire home to Scotland (the land of bird shredders) in the next 3 or 4 years and building a house. It will be equipped with a large diesel generator which I sincerely hope I will never have to use. But I have no doubt I will.

      Mind you, if the SNP are still in office, I’ll only go as far as Cumbria.

      And yes, please be assured, that whilst Mrs. May’s government may be bad, Ms. Sturgeons is an awful lot worse.

      • John permalink
        January 25, 2019 8:13 am

        Alex Salmond will agree with you

  3. January 24, 2019 6:53 pm

    Germany is heading for the electricity supply rocks too, thanks to ruinables.

  4. January 24, 2019 7:28 pm

    Quote from Jeremy Warner in the business section of the last Sunday Telegraph: “… and the great advantage of Britain’s now bankrupt nuclear strategy is that it has been strung out for just long enough to allow for the development of plausible alternatives – small modular reactors, storage and more renewables”

    No need to worry then, green snake oil propaganda must be true because even hard-nosed conservative journalists now believe it.

  5. January 24, 2019 7:48 pm

    Wind power being less than 1% is a regular occurrence in the UK. I used to have a report giving several year’s evidence to demonstrate it, but I can no longer find it. Does anybody else know of the report?

    • Hugh Sharman permalink
      January 25, 2019 8:20 am


      It is a movable feast Philip.

      As wind capacity increases, wind GWh generated increases proportionally.

      That does not alter the fact that from time to time, in the middle of a large anticyclone, the whole of the UK including its territorial waters, becomes a wind-free zone.

      Go to (wonderful) and you can download time series for UK’s generation (by technology) and demand, back to 2011. Download demand and wind. Divide wind by demand and hey presto! You have yur answer.


      • Oh Dear permalink
        January 25, 2019 4:37 pm

        When you get the spreadsheet, search for rows where the OCGT is > 0. These are the “open-Cycle Gas Turbine” generators. Fantastically wasteful, very expensive to run, fast to spin up. They ae only brought on-line when all else fails, and there would otherwise be power-cuts.
        It happens several time a year.

    • Doug Brodie permalink
      January 25, 2019 10:55 am

      Phillip, could it be the Derek Partington paper on the Intermittency of UK Wind Power Generation:

      • January 25, 2019 11:32 am

        Thanks Doug. I have several reports on intermittency, including one by the John Muir Trust, but none are the one I am thinking of.

  6. Jack Broughton permalink
    January 24, 2019 9:35 pm

    The USA and Germany have recognised that coal is essential to load management and costs and the USA has enforced threatened coal stations to be kept available for national security reasons. The UK needs these also, but the fanatics are determined to be rid of them and are winning, these fanatics will quickly disappear when the power cuts start!

    • Hivemind permalink
      January 25, 2019 3:03 am

      The same fanatics that are demanding coal be shut down now, will blame the remaining coal plant for the blackouts.

      • roger permalink
        January 25, 2019 1:59 pm

        Like this today from Australia do you mean?
        D’Ambrosio has sung the praises of Victoria’s renewable energy during the heatwave, saying it was coal and thermal generators that failed the state.

        “We lost 1800 megawatts of power capacity generation in Victoria,” she said. “That is an extraordinary figure to lose. Essentially most of that was as a result of failed infrastructure from coal and gas units – in particular coal.

        Words mean whatever she wants them to mean coz everything is upside down in the land of Oz!

  7. Saighdear permalink
    January 24, 2019 10:29 pm

    Could someone remind our Stoopit nashnell Posers about how little power is generated and HOW MUCH we rely upon conventional…. It’s all very well boasting how wind supplied ALL our Power ( actually power to X-hundred thousand homes) on a particular day – for how long – 1 hour, maybe?. Just ‘cos I’ve a box of Irish matches, ( Ones which worked) , I wouldn’t want to rely on them lighting my candles or Stove!

  8. John permalink
    January 25, 2019 8:11 am

    All those responsible will have moved on so no one can be held to account for this energy tragedy. Ed Miliband and the CCA are the root cause.

    • Hugh Sharman permalink
      January 25, 2019 8:27 am

      @ John,

      I would remind you that while the awful Miliband tabled the law, of which he remains immensely conceited, the whole of the conservative opposition, led by Cameron, supported it, with the exception of 8 very brave and lonely free minds!

  9. January 25, 2019 9:11 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  10. keith permalink
    January 25, 2019 10:01 am

    I’m still wondering where all this power is going to come from for the millions of electric cars our Government intends us to change to!

    • A C Osborn permalink
      January 25, 2019 10:31 am

      La La Land, where all their ideas also come from.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 27, 2019 9:58 am

      The Chinese will save us from having battery cars as they are tying up all the cobalt supplies needed for the batteries to use in their own battery cars. China has no oil and a pollution problem so battery cars – charged up using coal plants – solves their problems. While generally being an unpleasant moron, Muskrat has made a good decision to build a Tesla car plant in China, assuming he is not too late to the party.

  11. January 25, 2019 1:34 pm

    When wind power can’t deliver…

    Australia extreme heatwave: power outages in Melbourne amid ‘load shedding’

  12. Gerry, England permalink
    January 27, 2019 10:04 am

    What the gridwatch doesn’t show is how much gas is coming in via the interconnector. Last April it was this supply that kept us going, but a no deal Brexit means no electricity or gas coming in via the interconnectors as we will no longer be part of the Single Energy Market. I doubt, given their feeble knowledge of reality, that any of our Morons of Parliament realise this. If we do drop out, we might just escape blackouts as the car manufacturers are going on shutdown while will reduce demand. Many other heavy users may well be doing the same.

    • January 28, 2019 2:13 pm

      The UK regularly exports, especially to Ireland, which is very prone to wind power collapses due to their small size relative to High pressure systems, but some of those exporting periods may be French electricity transiting the UK.

      I doubt that anyone will upset the apple cart that gives everyone more security of supply.

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