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Who Needs Electricity On A Cloudy Day?

December 6, 2020

By Paul Homewood



While wind power has virtually disappeared off the grid today, it has also been rather cloudy as well. As a result, solar power has produced even less than the pitiful amount it usually does in winter:



At 7630 MWh, the average rate is 318MW, which means UK solar farms have been running at just 2.5% of their capacity during the day.

Of course, when they do produce more power in summer, we don’t need it anyway. So it’s all rather a waste of money, isn’t it?

  1. Mad Mike permalink
    December 6, 2020 10:23 pm

    No snow by 2040 so we’ll be alright then. Won’t need electricity.

    Where have we heard all that before. They must be getting pretty desperate.

    • Devoncamel permalink
      December 6, 2020 11:09 pm

      MM, that’s one of those cross media plugs ( Panorama tomorrow) masquerading as a news item. It’s more of ‘what you need to know.’

      • December 7, 2020 8:28 am

        The Panorama programme is one of the main BBC News items this morning. It’s weird how the BBC is able to produce news days before it happens. Anybody might think that the BBC was producing fake news.

        Is that true, or did you hear it on the BBC?

      • December 7, 2020 10:40 am

        Anyone would think it’s the religion of the bBC

    • December 7, 2020 9:56 am

      BBC correspondent pushing the PR

    • December 7, 2020 10:14 am

      There are indeed lots of areas of the British countryside where snow will never more touch the ground

      ….. The ground the bastards have covered with SUBSIDISED solar and wind farms.

  2. Coeur de Lion permalink
    December 6, 2020 10:33 pm

    Right now Boris’ windmills are producing half a gigawatt

    • LeedsChris permalink
      December 7, 2020 10:03 am

      Yes, I think the lowest I saw yesterday evening and overnight into Monday 7th was 0.45 Gigawatts 0.45 GW) from wind… Unbelievable. Lucky this was at night, because during the day total demand at this time of year cane be 45GW and above. So the basic assumption has to be that sometimes wind fails almost totally, whether it’s onshore or offshore. Why would we make our energy future depend on something that we know will fail?

      • John Peter permalink
        December 7, 2020 12:46 pm

        I can beat that. 6/12 at 17.25 recorded wind 0.38GW or 0.85% of demand.

    • December 8, 2020 12:23 pm

      Yes the 6th. December I got 0.5Kwhrs of Boris wind energy popping through my meter. Would have taken a long time to boil the kettle without fossil/nuclear assistance.

  3. Graeme No.3 permalink
    December 6, 2020 10:56 pm

    Assuming that the grid is still working despite efforts to destabilise it.
    Here in South Australia where renewables supply over 50% of demand** I had an 8 hour blackout one evening very recently. Fortunately as we head into summer.

    **Household PV solar is estimated only, as it reduces the apparent demand. When it matches the demand, as it did recently for almost a whole hour, that doesn’t mean that fuel isn’t burnt; the gas and diesel burners continue operating (at a reduced rate) as insurance against a black start, and the surplus generation is exported to Victoria via the interconnector. This reduces the amount of wind generation that can also be exported, so some wind farms are shut down (they are losing approx. 10-12% of potential revenue).

    The local Minister for Energy wants to get to 78% renewables a.s.a.p. His name is NOT Boris.

    • Duker permalink
      December 6, 2020 11:29 pm

      Are they in SA also only talking about over 70% renewables for ‘household’ demand?
      Ive noticed them using the weasel words ‘household demand’ in Scotland when talking about renewables as well.
      For the other 60-75% of the electricity demand that goes on commercial, industrial, educational, utilities etc seems to be magic wanded away.
      On top of that is the maybe 5-10% of electricity generated that is ‘lost’ in generating process or the grid and local lines to deliver .

      The solar generation to me seems the riskiest of all as its either generating or not -during darkness. At least with a wind farm during lower demand they can brake say 50% of the turbines which can be released to generate as they move into peak periods.

      At least in NZ with their renewable at around 80% now – and no interconnectors to other countries- they have the reliable hydro and geothermal which stabilise the frequency with large generators spinning at a fixed speed and can be ramped up in peak periods ‘on demand’ The long distance grid still needs some generation near the largest demand to overcome the voltage drop and the main interconnections between the islands are DC.

      • Hivemind permalink
        December 7, 2020 12:20 am

        Technically, they’re talking about all demand. But since they drove all the industry out of the state, it’s practically the same thing.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        December 7, 2020 6:16 am

        Agreed. Most industry has gone, although the larger 2 left are in Whyalla (steel) and Port Pirie (znc smelting), both over 200 km. from Adelaide. Out of sight out of mind?

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 7, 2020 2:21 am

      There was so much wind across Southern Australia that prices were negative in SA, Tasmania, and Victoria for most of the weekend. For the most recent 7 days as I type, in South Australia the average value of rooftop solar is assessed at minus $12.19/MWh, wind at minus $2.73/MWh, exports to Victoria at minus $43.12/MWh, while imports from Victoria cost $57.91/MWh, CCGT $24.61/MWh, Steam gas $28.14/MWh, OCGT $69.00/MWh, reciprocating gas $67.10/MWh, and distillate $150.97/MWh.

      They want to add more renewables?

      • jack broughton permalink
        December 7, 2020 3:15 pm

        What a great website, we have nothing like that apart from Gridwatch which does not have pricing info. Thanks for the link.

    • Gerry,England permalink
      December 7, 2020 3:46 pm

      ‘This reduces the amount of wind generation that can also be exported, so some wind farms are shut down (they are losing approx. 10-12% of potential revenue).’

      In UK the poor downtrodden electricity users would kindly pay them anyway……

  4. st3ve permalink
    December 6, 2020 11:10 pm

    If same lack of wind & sun persist tomorrow (a weekday), it’ll be interesting to see carbon intensity numbers. See Currently at 11pm in Wales, S ,SW, E. Midlands its ~390,-440 – green advice for tomorrow being to unplug at 6am and not to plug back in till after 8pm?!!

    • December 7, 2020 8:35 am

      Hello St3ve,

      that is a bit if a myth, the way I see it.

      All it does is move the intensity about, the total remains the same.
      CO2 intensity basically increases with demand (As dispatchable generation ramps up to meet demand and vice versa.) It does not magically lower after 8pm and stay there, Just see what happens at night with all those EVs plugged in , a big rise in CO2 emissions.

      Incidentally I have seen acedemics at universities make the same mistake and they are producing papers giving positive reviews of CO2 intensity yet demonstarting a basic lack of fundemental knowledge of grid operation.

  5. LeedsChris permalink
    December 6, 2020 11:40 pm

    At 2.30pm this afternoon wind was only meetings only 0.66% (yes, that’s zero point 66) of the UK’s electricity demand….. gas and nuclear were near 70% and coal about 6%. What will happen when the last coal plant closes in 2025, when most of the nuclear power stations have reached end of life by the end of the decade and when the government plans the run down of gas?

    • Duker permalink
      December 7, 2020 3:37 am

      Whats happens ? . Arent they expecting the cross channel interconnections to cover that. But I did notice some of the French mumbling about cutting Britain off unless French trawlers can continue fishing in British territorial waters permanently. Even Russia has never voiced such blackmail to some its near neighbours over gas supplies , even when they hadnt paid their bills.- I think it was only ‘restrictions’ not cutoff.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        December 7, 2020 3:52 pm

        I don’t know if the French could block the UK if we tried to stay in the Single Energy market. In truth it would do us a favour not to be in it as you have to subscribe to all the global warming bollocks if you join.

        Note that within the dispute over the ‘level playing field’ environmental rules are included which would include the climate change stuff as well which is why it was a stupid idea not to leave the EU by the efta/EEA route as some of these rules would not apply, and even if they did they could be subject to ongoing review.

  6. Joe Public permalink
    December 7, 2020 12:05 am

    Fortunately ‘Bonkers Boris’ proposes we have “40GW of offshore wind”, so at 2pm today’s generating Capacity Factor, that’ll contribute all of maybe 0.6GW.

  7. Peter permalink
    December 7, 2020 4:11 am

    Summers are getting super hot, so you will need to use all that extra electricity on running air conditioners. :-p

  8. December 7, 2020 8:31 am

    I notice that coal has now been operating continuously for over 24 hours. Who needs coal when in winter we have no sun and no wind?

  9. December 7, 2020 9:58 am

    More PR for tonight’s Justin Rowlatt’s 1 hour special

    • Joe Public permalink
      December 7, 2020 10:34 am

      Justin Rowlatt authors a piece on the BBC News website “Climate change: Snowy UK winters could become thing of the past”

      In it, he warns about “Hotter drier summers”.

      Yet strangely, the Graun pushed this:

  10. C Lynch permalink
    December 7, 2020 10:13 am

    Off topic but check out the latest version of the “kids won’t know what snow is” sophistry in todays Daily Telegraph.
    Unlike previous efforts which predicted this would come to pass in ten or fifteen years “scientists” now predict this for 80 years time to avoid being called to account I assume. I don’t know why they bother – they’re utterly shameless and they’re never held to account anyway.

    • December 7, 2020 10:33 am

      Charlotte Morgan The head of BBC news Public Relations
      complaining that today’s papers are not giving the BBC credit for the Public Relations snow story the BBC has made up. … tweet

  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    December 7, 2020 10:51 am

    Has anyone else noticed the double-standards of the BBC (OK, if they hadn’t got double-standards they’d have none!)?
    When it comes to reporting the rigged US election, they always fall back on the phrase: ‘without any evidence’, yet this morning’s news reports about there not being any snow in future was reported as, ‘according to evidence from xxx university’.
    OK, BBC, where is this ‘evidence’? Do you really mean, computer models? (Of course you do).

    • December 7, 2020 2:57 pm

      Precisely my thoughts when I heard it. I would have thought that by now the BBC would know what an algorithm was and how unreliable the results are. But not if it fits the propaganda using assumption and without evidence.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        December 7, 2020 4:00 pm

        No problem – put Martin Bashir on the case and the evidence will soon appear.

  12. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 7, 2020 12:26 pm

    In the UK it’s the low sun angle and short days that are the killer in winter, the Winter capacity factor for the UK is 4.8% (From “Solar power in Britain – The impossible dream” by Dr. Capell Aris.)

  13. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 7, 2020 1:07 pm

    Ben Pile has a new short video out.

  14. CheshireRed permalink
    December 7, 2020 1:54 pm

    I inputted my postcode on BBC’s ‘How hot will you get’** propaganda page and surprise, surprise, I’m going to fry!!

    It depended entirely on high ECS, high emissions and high runaway warming. All falsified. 100% blatant propaganda.

    **Designed to bring ‘climate change’ to your doorstep, thus removing it from being a global abstract that ‘doesn’t affect me’ to something that’s going to kick your front door in and roast your pet dog to a cinder in front of the children.

    Should be official complaints all over the place for this BS.

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