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Power When You Need It? Not With Wind

December 20, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

If this is the standard of research into the reliability of wind power, then heaven help us all:

 

variability_of_wind_and_wind_power

Nobody is seriously saying that the wind will stop blowing completely around the UK, as they imply. This is just a red herring.

The real issue is that there are long periods, days and even weeks, when wind power is generating at extremely low levels.

It can also be extremely variable on an hour to hour basis, as the summary of the last 48 hours shows below:

 image

https://www.bmreports.com/bmrs/?q=eds/main

 

Using the data from GB National Grid Status, so far this year, wind power has been producing at less than 2 GW for 22% of the time. 2 GW works out at about a capacity factor of 10%, which I am sure most normal people would regard as pretty worthless.

It has even been running at below 1 GW for 9% of the year. Average output is over 5 GW.

It is true that low winds tend to be more common in summer, when demand is low. But they can still occur in winter. Between 27th Feb and 4th March, wind power never reached 2.5 GW for 112 hours straight. During this period it was below 2 GW for 99 hours, and averaged just 1.1 GW overall.

image

http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

 

It does not matter how much wind capacity you have. Nought percent of anything is still nothing.

99 Comments
  1. December 20, 2021 8:33 pm

    No preinstallation pilot studies of wind turbines:if that is typical of politicos’ work, no wonder the cointry is in such a mess, most especially concerning the scam of AGW but across the whole basis of political decision making.

  2. December 20, 2021 8:40 pm

    I remember years ago some official data showing frequency and duration of wind lulls, but I cannot find it anymore.

    David Milborrow used to publish a lot of propaganda for the British Wind Energy Association between about 1998 and 2010. It was all a pack of lies, but no doubt the governments then were just as gullible about wind energy then as Bozo is today.

    • December 20, 2021 8:47 pm

      Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB and WWF commissioned work by ‘energy expert’ Milborrow, which was welcomed by NG. See ‘UK urged to plug wind power into National Grid. Report by energy expert finds no technical reason why significant amount of energy generated by wind could not supply the National Grid’. In the Grauniad of course; https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/jul/08/wind-power-national-grid

      • Joe Public permalink
        December 20, 2021 11:38 pm

        “… Report by energy expert finds no technical reason why significant amount of energy generated by wind could not supply the National Grid’.”

        Except too great a % of highly variable wind destabilises the grid. That issue is exacerbated because the additional wind displaced coal and gas spinning generation that provides the inertia needed to help overcome wind’s destabilisation!

        The net consequence is that now, coal & gas generation needs to be fired up not necessarily for their electricity but for their ancillary stabilisation services!

        Then, some wind gets curtailed, and so Constraint Payments get paid to wind’s capacity owners.

        YCMIU

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      December 20, 2021 9:11 pm

      Lord Deben needs to preserve his family’s income.

      • December 22, 2021 12:41 pm

        No doubt the more dosh he gets the more he wants-greed it’s called.

        No one should accept CCD advice but the “great and the good” do and contribute to our ruination-it’s called stealing and wrecking.

    • December 20, 2021 9:49 pm

      Phillip, see my summary of Drew et al 2015 here: https://cliscep.com/2021/09/25/randomly-blows-the-wind/

  3. Colin R Brooks AKA Dung permalink
    December 20, 2021 8:46 pm

    Even if it does not happen often, are the government saying that it is OK to freeze residents for short periods??

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      December 20, 2021 9:14 pm

      Let me put it this way; you are going to buy a new car and have a choice of 2.
      The first isn’t glamerous but is highly reliable and cheaper to run and will last for a long time.
      The second only works some of the time (is prone to failure just when you need it) and doesn’t last that long and costs a lot more to run, but is considered (by some) to have more glamour.
      Which would you choose? (if you were allowed a choice).

      • dodgy geezer permalink
        December 21, 2021 6:39 am

        You would have to buy both. Which is what we need to do got Wind energy…

  4. Peter Barrett permalink
    December 20, 2021 8:59 pm

    The comedic value is lost in the face of the potential loss of thousands of the elderly and vulnerable across the country this winter, entirely down to culpable idiocy of which this is a prime example.

    • Joe Public permalink
      December 20, 2021 11:43 pm

      The upside of course, is that the number of the greatest drains on stretched NHS resources is reduced.

      Win-win!

  5. Robert Christopher permalink
    December 20, 2021 9:06 pm

    In 1974, in a University of Birmingham Physics undergraduate workshop, we ran through the Physics of windmills, and why the Dutch could successfully pump their country dry with windmills, and why supplying the National Grid using windmills would fail. The answer is that the Dutch don’t care when the wind blows hard, just as long as it does, for long enough.

    In addition, if you assume the wind varies so that, for equal periods of time the wind speed is, in mph, 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40, the Energy available/generated will be in the ratio of 0, 1, 8, 27 and 64 as the power is proportional to the cube of the fluid velocity.

    So we have 0+1+8=9% generated in 3/5ths of the time and 27+64=91% generated in 2/5ths of the time, which is a very lopsided result, hence the problem for the National Grid.

    The figures can be adjusted for a particular windmill while, for a tidal barrage, the figures would work, unadjusted, to a first approximation.

    Yes, in 1974.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      December 20, 2021 9:18 pm

      And yet the Dutch looked to steam power (and later diesel) to drive their drainage pumps.
      The windmills are for the tourists.

      • Duker permalink
        December 21, 2021 2:16 am

        Pumping is slightly different demand, it doesnt have to be un-interrupted as the canals act as their own storage between low wind periods.
        Still not reliable enough

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:23 pm

      A tidal barrage shows enormous fortnightly variation in output between spring and neap tides, as well as highly variable output over the course of a single tide, with long periods producing nothing at all. At any larger scale it would be a pain to deal with, especially as the time of peak output changes by 50 minutes a day, and will occur as often at minimum demand 4 a.m. as at 6p.m. peak demand. Ouput during peak demand us most likely to be zero or not much more.

      https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/D0N7k/2/

  6. dodgy geezer permalink
    December 20, 2021 9:30 pm

    The problem is not so much that wind might drop to zero.

    The problem is that you cannot tell what power you will get from it in advance. So, if you have a country that used 100 units of power, and wind is providing 50 units, coal might provide the other 50 units. And then the OTHER coal power stations will have to be running on standby ready to produce another 50 units in case the wind stops. It is that inefficiency which is costing us so much…

    • December 20, 2021 10:15 pm

      Not really, because at present we can still get the majority of our electricity from gas and nuclear if necessary. Coal is nearly over so we can ignore that.

      The trouble arises if the gas operators find they can’t make a profit any more because wind has soaked up too much of the available business. Unless there’s something adequate to turn to when the wind drops the system may well then crash.

      • dodgy geezer permalink
        December 21, 2021 6:43 am

        Coal is HUGE, and getting bigger, in many countries around the world.

        Just not in the West. But don’t think that the West IS the world .. .

      • Micky R permalink
        December 23, 2021 8:36 am

        The cooler spell in Feb/March 2018 hysterically described by the media as “The Beast from the East” demonstrated that gas can’t be relied upon. Only coal and nuclear can be relied upon during a long cold spell where the energy source needs to stockpiled at the power station for reliable operation.
        The UK sits on or near billions of tons of coal

      • Nicholas Lewis permalink
        December 23, 2021 9:57 am

        I always like the think Thatcher was being smart leaving all that coal in the ground and using everyone elses resources until we really need it!!!

    • chriskshaw permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:07 am

      You used coal as your exemplar but I understand exactly your point. And i agree.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:33 pm

      The effect is there but perhaps slightly less dramatic than you suggest. This chart shows the average energy efficiency of different types of generation as actually operated.

      https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/Br8Mc/1/

      You can see a declining trend for oil because essentially it was only doing used as diesel for extreme peak lopping, so more time was spent warming up for little time of useful generation. Modern CCGT is capable of around 60% when operated as baseload, but in load following mode that drops to around 48% average across the fleet. Coal was still tending to be operated as a baseload, even if it was spending many days shut down in between baseload runs.

  7. December 20, 2021 10:10 pm

    Yes, but fundamentally the inefficacy and vanity of politicians who drag us along with their stupidity.and irresponsibility.

  8. December 20, 2021 10:12 pm

    In the early days of wind power the proper power stations still existed, so it was easy to claim that no EXTRA backup was required for wind power lulls, and no EXTRA equipment was needed to ensure stability, and everything was grand because wind power was knocking a bit off residual demand.

    Now of course we know that inertia is falling due to the lousy economics and politics of keeping/renewing proper power stations, and batteries are needed to ensure grid stability.

    “Greens” want to retire proper power stations, it is their Holy Grail, but 98% of peak demand must always be available, due to wind lulls on cold evenings. Doubling wind power capacity, at enormous expense, would only drop that figure to 96%.

    The Civil Service has so far failed totally to explain these facts, amid the feeding frenzy on “green virtue” and govt subsidies, originating from bill payers bank accounts.

  9. Phoenix44 permalink
    December 20, 2021 10:18 pm

    Are they seriously saying that provided it doesn’t fall to zero its OK?

    They actually don’t seem to understand the very basic problem. Where is this from?

  10. Coeur de Lion permalink
    December 20, 2021 10:40 pm

    As I write it’s at three per cent of demand and we’ve had five days of it. Met Office isobar factory gives us another two days, then some wind, then hi pressure again.

  11. Nicholas Lewis permalink
    December 20, 2021 10:53 pm

    What is needed is a narrative to address the misnomer that renewables will be able to supply our energy needs. Yes you can have the wind but for gods sake make sure you keep CCGTs as standby not expensive batteries of diesel peakers whose environmental impact is far higher.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 21, 2021 9:02 am

      But then you have to pay the CCGT owners to do that. Which is hugely expensive. So you then have much more expensive electricity and substantial balancing costs. Which makes us all poorer. Which makes the state poorer.

      • Nicholas Lewis permalink
        December 21, 2021 9:46 am

        Thats fair enough and why shouldn’t they get the same deal as renewables only then will we see the true cost for going down this road

        Governments role here is to ensure the 1. Lights are Kept On in the 2. least environmentally impactive way for the 3. lowest all round cost – in that order with 2&3 subservient to 1. Currently 3. doesnt feature in governement thinking and if anything its actualy the polar opposite in making it the most expensive cost solution where the only winners are investors in solare and battery funds propped up by state subsidies we are paying for.

      • Nicholas Lewis permalink
        December 21, 2021 10:13 am

        Yup thats the price for going down this route and the quicker its outed the better. However, my main concern now is that Keeping The Lights On is being done to achieve netzero at the highest cost and technically im not convinced thats even practically however much cash you throw out at but i don’t want to see CCGTs being torn down just so some minister can get a glory photo opp like they did over coal. Its great that keeping the lights on still has 100% conviction but its needs to be caveated with an approach that delivers the least environmental impact for the least cost and joe public should be involved in deciding what that balance as.

    • Jordan permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:52 pm

      “for gods sake make sure you keep CCGTs as standby”
      This assumes a very large and flexible gas supply infrastructure, amply supplied with gas to be able to secure energy supply at very short notice against unpredictable demands.
      The green movement doesn’t want this. Opposition to Cambo was an example.
      If the UK reduces demand for gas, the market and associated infrastructure will shrink. Keeping CCGTs as standby ultimately means keeping large, idle, cold and expensive metal sitting on the ground for no good reason.

  12. Ray Sanders permalink
    December 20, 2021 11:12 pm

    This whole subject is extremely complex. Averages, levels of real power, availability and back up are only a part of the story. For example when the wind is blowing consistently across a wide geographical area and the sun is shining brightly the grid is actually in a very weak position. The last major blackout (August 2019) was in exactly those conditions and a large part of the country lost power.
    Wind turbines on their own offer no kinetic inertia, no frequency or voltage control (they actually disrupt frequency) do not generate reactive power and just happen to bounce output up and down surprisingly quickly. Even when producing a lot of real power they still need a huge amount of back up services in synchronous condensers, static VAR compensators and battery back up actually acting as smoothing capacitors.
    Probably the only thing that makes even less sense than wind turbines is the really sick joke of green hydrogen.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 21, 2021 9:04 am

      Yes they are useless when there’s no wind and extremely costly to manage when there is. A truly dreadful “solution” thought up by people who have no knowledge of the problem.

  13. Joe Public permalink
    December 20, 2021 11:23 pm

    “Using the data from GB National Grid Status, so far this year, wind power has been producing at less than 2 GW for 22% of the time. 2 GW works out at about a capacity factor of 10%,”

    Elexon BMRS informs that there’s 25.097GW of metered wind capacity, so that 2GW is just 8% operational Capacity Factor. 😉

    https://www.bmreports.com/bmrs/?q=foregeneration/capacityaggregated

  14. Joe Public permalink
    December 20, 2021 11:52 pm

    ****OFGEM TODAY HAS THE CHUTZPAH TO WHINGE ABOUT BALANCING COSTS****

    “ Trends in balancing costs in 2021
    Recent months have seen a very sharp rise in balancing costs. This follows what were already very high costs as a result of the challenges faced by the Electricity System Operator (‘ESO’) in 2020 due to the pandemic situation. Over £1bn has been spent on balancing the transmission system between September and November 2021, double the cost incurred in the same period in the previous year, and daily Balancing Mechanism (‘BM’) costs reached an all time record of more than £60m on 24 November 2021.

    This trend has been driven by a large rise in how much coal- and gas-fired units have charged the ESO in order to generate in the BM in certain periods. In part, this increase can be attributed to rises in fuel and emission costs, as well as higher balancing services use of system (‘BSUoS’) charges, and greater volatility in imbalance prices. However, the increase in costs does not alone appear likely to fully explain the scale of the increases we have seen in offer prices submitted by some generators in the BM. With increasing frequency, we have observed instances of extremely high prices (accounting for around 40% of total spending by the ESO on offers for gas-fired units in recent months), implying extremely high margins over direct costs.”

    Click to access Open%20letter%20on%20trends%20in%20balancing%20costs%20in%202021.pdf

    No mention that OFGEM itself has actively campaigned for more non-dispatchable wind to be installed at the expense of displacing dispatchable gas & coal capacity.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 21, 2021 9:07 am

      What, the people Ofgem say they want to put out of business have decided to make hay whilst they still can?

      And what, Ofgem having put them in a position to greenmail us now are appalled they do so?

    • bobn permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:40 pm

      OFGEM idiots who have helped create our energy crisis winge about ‘high margins over direct costs’. But backup systems also have to cover overheads, maintainence and capital costs.
      So if you only use my coal or gas station for 1 month a year, but still want me to maintain it then I add to the 1 month output price a years worth of overheads. Thats the reality Ofgem have built. Direct costs are only a small part of the Costs.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:41 pm

      If National Grid dispatched on a true cost merit order then coal would be running continuously in baseload, able to earn a very good return off market prices typically set by gas. There would be much more competition among gas units to provide marginal supply.

  15. John Hultquist permalink
    December 21, 2021 3:16 am

    Along the Oregon & Washington Columbia River wind facility region there has been near zero energy production for about 40 hours and counting. Thursday morning is expected to see wind strong enough to generate. Hydro is the backup.
    The area does send electricity to California via Path 66 — when available.

  16. Ben Vorlich permalink
    December 21, 2021 7:28 am

    Most turbines, where specifications have the information, have a cut in wind speed of 3m/s which is 7mph. The optimum is around 12m/s or more than 25mph. Most people would consider Force 6 on the Beaufort scale a very windy day.
    To have Force 5 or more conditions across the whole country would be as unusual as sub Force 2 across the whole country. Although today we’re less tham 1GW from wind.

  17. Robin Guenier permalink
    December 21, 2021 7:50 am

    This morning coal is contributing over 2.5 more than wind and solar to the UK’s electric power requirement: https://grid.iamkate.com

  18. Coeur de Lion permalink
    December 21, 2021 7:55 am

    Reading in for the record. As I write wind two per cent coal four per cent of demand and this is the sixth day of no wind. Met Office isobars see some wind for a day or two and then more high pressure . And across Europe

    • Nicholas Lewis permalink
      December 21, 2021 11:09 am

      Indeed even Sweden now reduced to taking carbon rich power from Poland – have they got no morals. Along with Holland only get 0.35% out of its declared wind capacity. Mind you never fear they’ve just turned up the gas this time to deal with it. Of course when questioned how will you deal with in a net zero world and they all scuttle away

  19. cookers52 permalink
    December 21, 2021 8:59 am

    Our reliance on wind power is a political decision. Like most political decisions it based on what politicians think is popular.
    The best scientific advice is often ignored, risks are just waved away, and we get into a mess.
    Politicians then dodge the issue, blame the innocent, and external forces for the resulting chaos.
    We have the village idiot in charge at the moment so why is anyone surprised.

  20. Hervé permalink
    December 21, 2021 9:29 am

    West Civilization started to bloom only when considering facts only and stop to believe in magics or diabolic belief. Hence where we reach by ‘2000.
    Since then we returned to the magic of blah blah, CNN style shows, politicians and so on.
    At the end, we will return to the 14th century.
    But Easter people chinese, indians, russians and else will still progress.

  21. Harry Davidson permalink
    December 21, 2021 9:29 am

    The trouble is that politicians like the kind of scientists who show them visions, mind castles of possibilities, fantasies of imagination untroubled by reality. They don’t like blunt engineers who tell them what can actually be delivered and how.
    Since St. Tone our politicians have developed the habit of only listening to people who tell them what they like to hear.

    • T Walker permalink
      December 21, 2021 9:44 am

      Spot on Harry.

  22. bsides2015 permalink
    December 21, 2021 9:43 am

    https://dailysceptic.org/complaint-to-ofcom-about-skys-breach-of-the-broadcasting-code-over-its-promotion-of-net-zero/
    “Complaint to Ofcom about Sky’s Breach of the Broadcasting Code Over its Promotion of ‘Net Zero’
    We are writing to alert you to a broadcast license complaint we have made about Sky U.K. Our complaint concerns a partnership between Sky and Behavioural Insights U.K., Known as the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), a limited company that was partly owned by the Government at the time the report was published”

    Still enjoying Sky’s Daily climate show
    always good for a laugh

  23. Messenger permalink
    December 21, 2021 10:33 am

    A couple of days ago the grid said roughly Solar 0%, Wind 0. 5GW and Gas 65GW. And those in charge say we have to get rid of gas.

  24. Harry permalink
    December 21, 2021 10:35 am

    At 10.20 a.m. wind is 2%, solar 1% and coal 5%.

  25. Peter MacFarlane permalink
    December 21, 2021 10:39 am

    Right now we’re getting more than twice as much power from coal as we are from wind. And the interconnectors are pretty much flat out.

    Is the government really running this on the “something will turn up” plan, or are they actually as terrifyingly stupid as they seem?

    • December 21, 2021 11:53 am

      What you are seeing is the triumph of the view that market forces will sort everything out. Nobody wants to hear about soviet-style central planning.
      Many on here seem to be right-wing free marketeers. So really you are reaping what you have sown.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        December 21, 2021 12:10 pm

        Logic circuits blown?

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        December 21, 2021 12:29 pm

        What a truly bizarre take on the situation you have! It is the very government interference in distorting the market and forcing it to take wind and solar in priority over all other sources (including ahead of CO2 emission free nuclear and hydro) that is causing the problem. Market forces left alone would most certainly NOT have created this problem., Government diktat of the sort you seem to prefer IS the cause and is also costing a massive fortune..

      • December 21, 2021 12:35 pm

        No, the government set the rules (Net Zero) and “the markets” come up with the solutions. That is how they view things, and it is very much based on the free marketeer mindset.
        You lot on here are crying out for soviet-style planning of our energy supply. Dream on, market forces will prevail but to make money out of it they first need to turn energy into a shortage product. Our smart meters will display the price according to current demand. There will be no shortage for those that can afford it.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        December 21, 2021 12:46 pm

        Actually it is precisely because of Soviet style central planning by OFGEM, BEIS and National Grid that we are in our present mess. They have been the ones dictating more wind capacity and coal closures, and preventing sensible nuclear investment or expanding gas production.

      • bobn permalink
        December 21, 2021 12:52 pm

        There is no ‘free market’ in energy in UK. It is a state directed market. Demand for gas is high – so market wants to drill gas. Govt says no and bans the drilling of gas (Combo banned, Jackdaw banned, Fracking banned). Thats State curtailment of market. Then the whole Carbon trading tax scam – Govt artificially making various supply too expensive. The whole energy setup is one of gross State control, direction, interference. As a result we will get shortages directly as a result of Govt policies distorting and blocking any free market.
        Go back to school KB.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        December 21, 2021 1:52 pm

        “You lot on here are crying out for soviet-style planning of our energy supply”
        Wow “you lot on here” you mean people like me who worked for over 40 years in the energy infrastructure industry and actually know what we are talking about- oh that lot.

      • 3x2 permalink
        December 21, 2021 6:51 pm

        Many on here seem to be right-wing free marketeers. So really you are reaping what you have sown.

        You honestly believe that what you are seeing is in any way a ‘free market’?

        Don’t worry though, nobody, with a brain cell left, would invest private capital into the required FF backup in the UK. It will require taxpayer largesse and government control.

      • Jordan permalink
        December 21, 2021 10:29 pm

        “What you are seeing is the triumph of the view that market forces will sort everything out.”
        Churchill said “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”. The same can be said for the power market.
        The GB power generation market has been living on the legacy of the CEGB for decades now. But that period is now coming to its end, and we are seeing the failure of the last 30 years starting to come home to roost.
        Thatcher replaced CEGB/government central planning with her best attempt at “market knows best” dogma. Just before privatisation, the outgoing CEGB chairman, Lord Marshall, took a hissy fit about the end of his plans for a French-style nuclear fleet in the UK. He complained bitterly that nuclear would end with Sizewell, and the market would only ever deliver gas fired CCGT power stations. Marshall has been shown to be right on the money.
        The only two things the private sector has ever brought to the power generation market in the UK was (1) some early CCGTs and (2) investment given special subsidies in pursuit of Government (centrally planned) policy.
        There are reasons for this. Significant market failures. These leave us with a choice for the provision of electricity generation: central government control (pre-privatisation CEGB variety), or central government control (post-privatisation policy-subsidy variety).
        I therefore fully agree with KB.

      • Nicholas Lewis permalink
        December 21, 2021 10:35 pm

        Marshall must have felt utterly betrayed by her as that’s be honest here it was the CEGB that won the miners strike

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        December 22, 2021 10:21 am

        Jordan, have you bothered to read the entirety of KB’s drivel? His/her whole premise/tone is bonkers/inflammatory. If you happen to agree with one point in a heap of rubbish is neither here nor there.

      • Jordan permalink
        December 22, 2021 12:19 pm

        Mr Grim
        Yes, I did “bother” to read the entirety of KB’s comments. Thanks for the opportunity to carry out a comprehension check, but I still see the sense in what he/she is saying.
        I don’t read KB’s tone as bonkers/inflammatory. I cannot say the same for your tone. Maybe you could dial it down a bit.

      • Gamecock permalink
        December 22, 2021 11:44 pm

        ‘No, the government set the rules (Net Zero) and “the markets” come up with the solutions.’

        I see what you did there. “Government set the rules” obviates “the markets.”

    • December 21, 2021 1:06 pm

      bobn: free market capitalism can only operate within laws and rules. Otherwise you just have anarchy. The government has chosen to curtail certain activities for environmental reasons. Left to market forces, we would still have chimneys belching coal smoke and leaded petrol in our cars. The state has always set rules within which markets must operate. There is nothing new going on here.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        December 21, 2021 2:02 pm

        “The government has chosen to curtail certain activities for environmental reasons” No it has chosen to distort the market by offering subsidies and preferential treatment of certain specific industries to the detriment of others on purely ideological grounds. That is completely different to the setting of “laws and rules” in which to work that do not involve subsidies..

      • 3x2 permalink
        December 21, 2021 7:02 pm

        Rules and regulation is one thing. What you are looking at is a rigged horse race. One where nobody wants to get involved and only a fool would to bet on it.

        Nobody wants to hear about soviet-style central planning

        Because it was such an obvious success. Ever heard of a game called ‘whack a mole’?

      • Jordan permalink
        December 21, 2021 10:48 pm

        “free market capitalism can only operate within laws and rules. Otherwise you just have anarchy. ”
        I firmly believe that regulation should be kept to a practical minimum and should not discourage free market investments. But I quite like the fact that food standards regulations give me a low expectation of salmonella poisoning. I quite like the fact that financial services regulation gives me a low expectation of being ripped off. I quite like the fact that the medicines prescribed to me have passed rigorous testing. I quite like the fact that road traffic regulations mean I can walk along the street with low expectation of being mown down by incompetent drivers. I quite like the fact that trades descriptions regulations give me a reasonable expectation of getting what I paid for. I quite like the fact that regulations require everybody to pay the taxes they are expected to pay and this helps me to pay my rightful share. These and very many more. And that all of these regulations give me the ability to go after unscrupulous people who don’t comply with the regulations.
        I agree with KB.

    • December 21, 2021 3:01 pm

      Ray Sanders: yes the government has interfered with the free market. It did the same incentivising the development of North Sea oil.
      What I am getting at is, the mindset is to leave fulfilling our needs to the market. We have done away with central planning, this is just a fact.
      Rain falls out the sky for free. We privatise the water supply and the water companies fill in reservoirs to build houses on. There is then a shortage of water. There has to be a shortage of water or they couldn’t charge us as much for it. No private business can make money if there is surplus supply. This is why energy will be rationed by price.

      • Colin R Brooks AKA Dung permalink
        December 21, 2021 4:18 pm

        I believe the correct term for people like you is ‘TROLL’, Russian/Chinese, who knows or cares?

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        December 21, 2021 4:34 pm

        KB, your view is completely wrong, your comprehension is the exact opposite of the situation, illogical nonsense.

        It’s precisely because the government has imposed, along with massive subsidies and gross market distortion/preferential treatment, its chosen net zero energy solutions, that are neither environmentally friendly nor economically viable, that we are in this mess.

        It could not be further from a free market solution. If the free market had been allowed to work towards net zero we would have a well developed fracking industry, cheap plentiful CCGT electricity, and nuclear plant construction well under way for the final shift.

        Instead our governments have destroyed the fracking industry prospects by allowing Russian backed protester/propaganda disruption and imposing impossible bogus and onerous regulations, and dismantled and sold off our nuclear expertise so that we are left to scavenge around for expensive foreign developers.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        December 21, 2021 9:43 pm

        Hi KB, how is the weather in Olgino?
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Research_Agency

      • Jordan permalink
        December 21, 2021 10:58 pm

        “No private business can make money if there is surplus supply. This is why energy will be rationed by price.”
        Yes, that’s the market theory for a power market. When supply is in surplus, price is set by the marginal cost of generation. When supply is short, power price will spike up and be set by the marginal cost of demand side reduction.
        One major problem with the theory is that it is politically undeliverable. It means either very unhappy households (electorate) or a sharp reduction in industrial productivity (idle assets not good for productivity).
        That’s one of the major market failure.
        In the UK, the politically acceptable “supply margin” is around 23% to give a LOLP of a few hours per year. Right now, we are well below this and we sure are talking about it (and who is to blame).
        Once again KB talks a lot of sense. I don’t agree that KB should be described as a troll on this site. (Please cool it guys.)

  26. Malcolm Chapman permalink
    December 21, 2021 12:26 pm

    I think the “something will turn up” plan is precisely the terrifying stupidity to which you so rightly refer.

    • 3x2 permalink
      December 21, 2021 7:35 pm

      I think the “something will turn up” plan is precisely the terrifying stupidity to which you so rightly refer.

      Nothing wrong with hope or faith. Just no way to run an economy the size of The UK on a daily basis.

  27. ThinkingScientist permalink
    December 21, 2021 12:28 pm

    12.20 pm

    Wind is 0.69 GW (1.63%)
    Solar is 0.69 GW (1.63%) (at midday!)

    Demand is currently 42.36 GW. So we would need > 30x the current deployment of solar and wind to just about meet demand. That’s going to be expensive!

    Coal is 1.98 GW (4.67%)

    So our paltry remaining coal is generating more power than solar and wind combined. On demand, reliably.

    Meanwhile, nukes are in the amber at 6.19 GW (14.61%)
    CCGT is generating 24.51 GW (57.86%)

    And the net of the interconnectors is currently 3.19 GW

    • Nicholas Lewis permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:33 pm

      what i like best at the moment is how dutch and belgium send us power only for us to waste precious transmission capacity to send it back to France!!

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      December 21, 2021 2:08 pm

      To indicate just how worthless expanding wind capacity is just look at the German situation. 63.2GW of wind capacity is currently managing to trickle out just 1.42GW. Mind you they are running 28.2GW of coal as well. Just think they are about to needlessly shut down 8.11GW of nuclear so no doubt yet more brown coal will be flung on the fires.
      https://app.electricitymap.org/zone/DE

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        December 21, 2021 2:50 pm

        Incredible!! If Volkswagen were to promote their cars as being so fuel efficient that they could return 63 mpg on point of sale, yet only managed a measly 1.5 mpg going up to an average of 25 mpg on the road, the EU would be slapping them with all sorts of lawsuits.
        Again, if EDF were to build a new Nuke and claimed it could deliver 64 GW but only came in on 1.4 GW the government would be having a fit!
        Strange how one industry has to comply yet another gets a free shot….

  28. Mike Jackson permalink
    December 21, 2021 12:32 pm

    I hope this link works. It seems very relevant!

    file:///var/mobile/Library/SMS/Attachments/bb/11/F548B4C0-E1AD-4759-AF2E-E7D372000759/IMG_1161.png

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:34 pm

      Evidently it doesn’t
      I’ll try another way!

  29. Malcolm Chapman permalink
    December 21, 2021 12:33 pm

    And most people have either never known, or have forgotten, what it is like to try to stay comfortable and happy in a cold house. It’s difficult. These inane policies seem to be driving towards a political resolution made up from widespread experience of energy poverty and blackouts, leading eventually (I can’t pretend to be able to foresee the party political shape it may take) to a vote where the idiots will be punished for their idiocy. But that may take several years of futile suffering. It’s painful to watch, and to experience.

  30. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 21, 2021 1:02 pm

    Yesterday the wind died across the whole of Europe, forcing large increases in gas use for power generation.

    https://windeurope.org/about-wind/daily-wind/electricity-mix

    Today, gas prices have soared to new records of over 440p/therm on the back of dangerously falling gas inventories and German intransigence over opening Nordstream 2. Consumers get to 0ay for political grandstanding. Truss did not help by expressing support for the German green foreign minister in her pitch against Nordstream 2.

  31. Geoffrey Carter permalink
    December 21, 2021 3:02 pm

    At this time of year with a high pressure system over the country anticyclonic gloom becomes a real possibility. This would, in addition to little or no wind, lead to no sunshine. The country would then rely on nuclear or gas power to provide our electricity. It appears that we do not have a plan ‘B’.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      December 21, 2021 5:06 pm

      Even right on the South Coast solar can only supply a tiny drip of electricity this time of year because it’s only light for 8 out of 24hrs and even then the sun is at a low angle/power, mirk or no mirk it’s pointless.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        December 21, 2021 11:21 pm

        Yesterday (20th Dec) nationally solar generated an estimated 2.04GWh.
        https://www.solar.sheffield.ac.uk/pvlive/
        That represents less than 3 minutes of peak demand at 44.5GW on the same day. Pointless is almost an understatement!

      • Nicholas Lewis permalink
        December 21, 2021 11:41 pm

        Solar in this country has been a criminal waste of money and its debatable the further North you go there must be a crossover where the embedded carbon of manufacturing the kit doesn’t even get recovered.

  32. Mike permalink
    December 21, 2021 4:08 pm

    Did you say Oxford Primary School?

  33. Harry Passfield permalink
    December 21, 2021 5:22 pm

    Anyone else noted the sheer irony of the BBC announcing the opening of the UK’s largest off-shore windfarm today?
    As large as it is, I just wonder just how much energy it supplying right now.

    BTW…some years ago there was a troll on either Booker or BH who was very fond of the phrase, ‘you lot’. Seems he, or his ilk are still around!

  34. John Hultquist permalink
    December 21, 2021 5:22 pm

    O-T looking ahead.
    In North America the cold air has started moving south.
    In the North Central states (North Dakota …) expect cold Christmas night.
    Farther west (State of Washington) expect cold Sunday night.
    Wind chill warnings will be in effect.

    “Atmospheric Teleconnections” suggest the rest of the northern regions will see significant weather changes between Christmas and New Years.

  35. December 21, 2021 5:25 pm

    Why do the non-Green Party politicos listen to the Green ones, whose policies are mad, let alone take them seriously?
    Surely few other than Boris could blame the little woman they sleep with for poisoning their minds with such arrant nonsense as the Greens hold dear?

  36. Ian permalink
    December 21, 2021 7:30 pm

    Britain’s self-infllicted spiral into energy oblivion – T’was inevitable. Salvation will come only by confronting the lunacy of the Green blob, by repudiating the faux science upon which it relies.

    Three new peer-reviewed studies have just destroyed the climate change boondoggle. They show that man’s emissions of carbon dioxide are irrelevant.

    https://scc.klimarealistene.com/2021/10/new-papers-on-control-of-atmospheric-co2/

    https://scc.klimarealistene.com/produkt/the-impact-of-human-co2-on-atmospheric-co2/

    • December 22, 2021 12:14 pm

      I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the whole edifice to collapse on the strength of these papers. The author of the first was reportedly let go due to some alleged financial irregularities.
      The relatively short lifetime of bomb-test C-14 in the atmosphere has been noted before, quite likely many times over. It is not a new thing that has only just been discovered. The other side have answered this point already I’m afraid.

  37. tom0mason permalink
    December 22, 2021 12:56 am

    It is not like it was not seen …
    While Miliband, Brown, Ed Davey and all the others sold the UK a festering dog’s diner, Peter Lilly warned the nation but was largely ignored.
    The Cost Of The Climate Change Act, is by Peter Lilley, the Conservative MP and former Trade Secretary. https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/12/11/hot-air-bombshell-report-shows-green-levies-backed-by-government-will-cost-the-economy-319bn-by-2030/

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