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New Website For Wind Farm Data

May 17, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 

 Someone tipped me off about this website, which has a lot of useful data about renewable energy, both in the UK and Europe:

 image

https://energynumbers.info/uk-offshore-wind-capacity-factors

 

It is worthwhile playing around with it, but one useful feature is a table of output, capacity factors etc for each offshore installation in the UK. Currently the rolling 12-month average capacity loading is 40.6%.

What I found particularly useful i8s this chart:

 

chart

It shows the time distribution of capacity loads, both for individual wind farms and overall.

So for instance, the load factor was 36.3% or more for 50% of the time, ie the median. (This arguably is a more important measure than the average load).

The curve for all windfarms is for the last five years.

If we look at extremes, we find that load is below 20% for 31% of the time, in other words below half of the average.

At the other end, output is above 80% for 12% of the time.

In other words, loading is either extremely high or extremely low for 43% of the year. This gives the lie to claims that wind power is reliable most of the time, and that output is smoothed because of the widespread geographic distribution – in other words, that the wind always blows somewhere!

In particular, it is commonly claimed that winds at sea are much less volatile than over land.

14 Comments
  1. Joe Public permalink
    May 17, 2020 12:05 pm

    An interesting touch is that clicking an individual wind farm redirects to that farm’s page on the “4C Offshore – Database of offshore windfarms & tidal projects worldwide” site.

    Then, scroll down that farm’s 4C page to find out that farm’s Revenue (£/MWh).

  2. Thomas Carr permalink
    May 17, 2020 12:05 pm

    Excellent web site , having looked at it. Now we need the stats. for on-shore installations and the best source for the photovoltaic farms. These aggregated and considered in comparison with the relative efficiency ‘robust’ generators might be best applied to inform the naive and suggestible cadre in the House of Commons — not forgetting to explain the burden imposed on industry of the costs loaded onto the electricity tariffs by green source generation.

  3. May 17, 2020 12:48 pm

    amazing site.
    thank you very much.

  4. heriotjohn permalink
    May 17, 2020 1:00 pm

    Comprehensive figures for all renewable generation in the UK, subdivided by category, and also individual numbers for large scale operators, can be found on John Constable’s excellent site at Renewable Energy Foundation.

    https://www.ref.org.uk/

    I (and others in the Scottish Borders) have been using his data (with his full permission) for several years. It counters the tremendous propaganda advanced in every wind farm application that even more wind farms are needed to “save us” from climate change.

    Look particularly at how large some of the constraint payments have recently grown to for wind farms in this area.

  5. May 17, 2020 1:07 pm

    They must have a sense of humour. There’s a ‘Design your own 100% renewables grid’.

  6. Robert Christopher permalink
    May 17, 2020 2:27 pm

    The Lincs graph shows that, for a few percent of the time, there is no electricity generation. That would be on windless days, so to be expected. 🙂
    Yet the All graph shows no windless days, or none that I can detect.
    Are there some site where electricity is generated 100% of the time? There can’t be many.

    • Ivan permalink
      May 17, 2020 11:43 pm

      Individual windfarms inevitably have some down-time for non-wind reasons, eg maintenance, faults, etc.

      The calmest half hour last year saw (operationally metered) national wind production in that half hour of close to 0.2GW, about 1% of capacity. A similar half hour has already occurred this year, just a few days ago. The rising of the sun and the going down of the same means that you inevitably get sea breezes and land breezes around the coast to disturb otherwise calm conditions at certain times of day. So coastal areas are always going to see a little production at some times of day.

    • Iain Reid permalink
      May 18, 2020 7:35 am

      Robert,

      output from wind generators is based on a cube law of output related to wind speed, therefore a small wind speed variation gives much larger rise or fall in output.
      Light wind gives virtually no power.

      • Robert Christopher permalink
        May 18, 2020 9:13 pm

        Yes, which is why I am puzzled that the ‘All’ graph shows no windless periods, assuming downtime to be not included.
        If it were, I am even more puzzled!

  7. tom0mason permalink
    May 17, 2020 9:16 pm

    Yes I thought you might find it an interesting site.
    You’re welcome Paul ( https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/05/15/windfarms-to-power-economic-recovery-claims-guardian/#comment-161751 )

    🙂

    • May 17, 2020 9:56 pm

      Thanks Tomo – I forgot who tipped me off!!!

      • tom0mason permalink
        May 18, 2020 7:06 am

        No problem Paul,
        easily done when you run such a busy and informative website with many pieces of factual information to check.

        Have a good day, and stay safe.

  8. spike55 permalink
    May 18, 2020 1:40 am

    Doing better than Germany’s onshore wind power.

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