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Labour Target Net Zero Electricity By 2030

December 7, 2022

By Paul  Homewood

 

Labour want an extra 90 GW of wind power:

 

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An unexpected alliance between Liz Truss, Boris Johnson and Ed Miliband is set to force the government to drop its massively unpopular de facto ban on new onshore wind developments in England. Green campaigners and billpayers should be celebrating, but they shouldn’t celebrate too much just yet.

As Miliband, the shadow climate change secretary, notes, the rebel amendment proposed by the Tory MP Simon Clarke, which Labour has promised to support, “swaps the ban for what is still a highly restrictive planning regime on onshore wind – risking blocking developments and keeping bills high”.

Labour is foreshadowing a fight on planning. When Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, made his pitch to businesses at the CBI last week, he quoted the frustrations of the CEO of a renewable energy company with the planning system and promised not to shy away from “the battles ahead on planning”.

This is because without major changes to the planning system, Labour’s bold plan for net-zero carbon emissions from power by 2030 is unachievable. It will require adding around 90 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity, building transmission lines from Scotland and the East of England (where the wind is) to southern England (where most of the demand is), and adding about 32 terawatt-hours (equivalent to the supply of about eight million homes) worth of new base load to deal with what the Germans call dunkelflaute, when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

Finance is no longer the key constraint on decarbonisation. Gas prices are at an all-time high, while renewables are more than cost-competitive and getting cheaper every day. What’s holding back deployment of renewable power more than anything else is getting permission to build. A typical planning application for an offshore wind farm now contains over a thousand documents, its environmental statement alone will stretch to 10,000-plus pages and even when consent is granted legal challenges are frequent.

https://www.newstatesman.com/spotlight/climate-energy-nature/2022/12/labours-net-zero-plan-2030-planning-reform

 

Ed Miliband is doubling down on renewable insanity.

These crazy idea are apparently based on modelling from an outfit named Ember, who call themselves an energy think tank. According to their website, Ember is a global energy think tank that uses data-driven insights to shift the world from coal to clean electricity, so they are hardly objective, nor is there any evidence of any technical expertise. Instead the only experience their small group of employees seem to have is campaigning against fossil fuels and data analysis. I doubt whether any of them know the first thing about how electricity grids work. (The website lists about 30 employees, but the latest Annual Accounts says 13).

As is usually the case with these climate outfits, Ember is funded by philanthropic organisations, though they do not say which ones.

According to their cunning plan, we can virtually decarbonise the electricity grid by 2030, by adding an extra 90 GW of wind power:

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https://ember-climate.org/insights/research/uk-gas-power-phase-out/

Sounds easy, eh?

Of course. they have worked out in detail just how the grid can run without gas power and with so much intermittent capacity. Well, you would have thought so, wouldn’t you?

They have even provided a link to their data annex:

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https://ember-climate.org/insights/research/uk-gas-power-phase-out/#supporting-material-downloads

But instead of the reams of datasheets you might expect, this is it:

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75 lines on a spreadsheet, showing capacity, generation and share of generation!

 

 

The key section is capacity:

 

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FES 2030 is the Future Energy Scenarios published by the National Grid each year, which I show every time to be make-believe. 2021 is the current actual situation.

I won’t attempt to quibble about any of Ember’s numbers, though relying on Torness and Heysham nuclear to stay open is a bit risky. And the target of 6.5 GW of hydrogen generation begs the question of where the hydrogen will come from and how it will be stored and transmitted. As they have only 12 TWh of hydrogen generation, it is all a bit irrelevant anyway, and could easily be replaced by retaining a bit more CCGT capacity.

 

No, the crux of the matter is the amount of dispatchable capacity:

Bio – 8.1

Gas – 10.9

Gas CCS – 2.6

Hydro – 1.9

Hydrogen – 6.5

Nuclear – 6.8

Oil – 0.1

TOTAL – 36.9 GW.

Peak demand is projected at 62 GW. If we accept that storage can smooth out the peaks and troughs during the day, we are still looking at an average daily demand of about 57 GW, as intra-day range is about 10 GW.

We can forget about DSR, batteries, V2G and other forms of storage, because these are all limited to a few hours effectiveness at most – enough to smooth out demand during the day and balance the grid during short term fluctuations in generation.

And in winter we can also ignore solar power, which will produce at little more than 1% of its capacity – in other words, that 51.3 GW nameplate will provide less than 1GW.

Having 85 GW of wind power is of little use when the wind does not blow. Just last week we went four straight days where wind power averaged just 1.6 GW, 9% of capacity. For more than 24 hours, it wan at less than 1 GW.

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

Periods like these occur every winter, and can often last a fortnight and more.

It is plain therefore that at times like this generation will be well below demand. Even with the highly speculative 19.5 GW of interconnector capacity assumed in FES, we will still struggle. And to be reliant on imported electricity for a third of our power is something no responsible government should contemplate.

I have not even got into the need for reserve capacity, over and above peak demand. You cannot rely on all of those generators working flat out 24/7. Experts in power generation would have told the children who wrote this nonsense for Ember that to meet peak demand of 62 GW, you probably need at least 70 GW, ideally 80 GW, to insure against plant outages.

I also have not mentioned the need for properly dispatchable generation to provide grid inertia. Renewable Energy World explained all about this in an article three years ago:

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https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/baseload/grid-inertia-why-it-matters-in-a-renewable-world/

 

 

Our energy security, and all that goes with it, are being put at risk by politicians who don’t understand how the grid works and reliant on advice from wide-eyed kids playing around with their X-Boxes.

98 Comments
  1. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    December 7, 2022 1:44 pm

    Have all the dim politicians gone insane?

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      December 7, 2022 3:00 pm

      No, just dim & completely ignorant.
      They’ve had the renewables’ Shills bombard them for years, believe that fossil fuels are the Devil’s work & where we go, the World will follow!

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        December 7, 2022 7:11 pm

        Adam, I’m not so sure it wasn’t just propaganda they were bombarded with. I bet there were a few lucrative earners in the mix – and some that didn’t require much to earn. The PPE scam will be as nothing compared to the NZ scam. IMHO.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 7, 2022 7:15 pm

      It turns out that the founder of EMBER is none other than Bryony Worthington. The mugshot gallery is here:

      https://ember-climate.org/about/people/

      She lurks at the bottom of the listings as a non-exec director. The motley crew do not look as though they have ever been anywhere near a power station, and most are wet behind the ears. The one positive they offer is that they have been campaigning against woodburning at Drax on the grounds of its CO2 emissions.

      This “study” appears to be a reheated version of one they did earlier.

      They were previously known as Sandbag, and closely allied with Ed Miliband.

      • James Broadhurst permalink
        December 8, 2022 8:21 pm

        She was one of many who wrote the 2008/9 climate change act for Miliband who subsequently made her a baroness in 2010. Ember is described as a charity.

  2. Orde Solomons permalink
    December 7, 2022 1:52 pm

    And of course, no one not the politicians nor the media nor the environmental lunatics ever mention, is without gas and oil, there will be no plastic. So no moblile phones, no computers in fact no electronics, so no internet. No modern medical care, no houses, no clothes and no food. Welcome to the 18th century!

    • Ian Johnson permalink
      December 7, 2022 3:07 pm

      Also no wind turbine blades without plastic.

  3. Subseaeng permalink
    December 7, 2022 1:54 pm

    Wind currently only providing 16% of our leccy on one of our coldest days so far this winter. These people are idiots. Sadly they won’t suffer like the rest of us.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 7, 2022 3:04 pm

      Yes, no recognition that capacity isn’t generation, let alone that new capacity will probably have lower generation as we have tended to build where it is most windy first. In recent days we would have been over 50% below demand if we had done away with gas and coal generation. Quite what they think we will do if that happens is beyond me.

    • December 7, 2022 4:49 pm

      It will fall to a much lower figure later in this cold spell, low demand at the weekend may save us from blackouts.

  4. Simon Newington permalink
    December 7, 2022 1:58 pm

    What do you mean “gone”. They always were insane power mad narcissists who just love to follow whatever the next ” thing” is .Which confirms the dim point lol.

  5. Douglas Brodie permalink
    December 7, 2022 2:00 pm

    Ember was originally Sandbag, set up by Bryony Worthington who wrote the 2008 Climate Change Act for Ed Miliband.

    • alastairgray29yahoocom permalink
      December 7, 2022 7:44 pm

      Oh dear Oh dear They don’t come much more ignorant or treacherous than that. a conspiracy to destroy our society and the egnorant deaf ear of the idiot Milliband . Still 300 quid a day to the noble baroness to sit and pontificate in teh House of Lords. Nothing to Mone about tehre!

  6. Cheshire Red permalink
    December 7, 2022 2:05 pm

    There’s another report on their Twitter feed claiming UK can treble onshore wind for just 0.02% of land use.

    Report by the oh-so neutral ECIU! Sorry I can’t link it here.

    • Cheshire Red permalink
      December 7, 2022 2:45 pm

      Their website references a ‘Sandbag Climate Campaign’. Isn’t that part of (Baroness) Bryony Worthington’s mob?

    • W Flood permalink
      December 7, 2022 2:50 pm

      By my reckoning that is 20 sq miles. Most msm types are not quick enough at mental arithmetic to challenge such assertions.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 8, 2022 2:05 am

      I’ve seen it reported as 2.1%. But that is only for the turbine bases. The other 99% of the windfarm area is excluded, because supposedly it could be used for other things. Completely ignoring that these eyesores will be visible for many miles around, and will have a more serious impact on those closer to them.

      Of course, because the winds are on average slight in the South East they will not be built there. The rest of us will be made to suffer for Islington to signal its virtue.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      December 8, 2022 4:02 pm

      “just 0.02% of land use.” These are the sorts of figures that these types of “babies” (to quote PH) seem to make up. It’s a bit like the one a few years ago of Golf Courses taking up twice the land area on England as housing does. Total BS but it keeps the babies thinking they “know” something.
      In the golf course argument they included the entire course areas and all ancilliaries (roads, parking clubhouses etc etc) but for housing they only accounted for the physical footprint of the bricks and mortar completely ignoring little things like gardens, roads etc.
      You know if you throw a dice a thousand times the “average” of the total numbers is 3.25……i.e. total bollocks.

  7. Gamecock permalink
    December 7, 2022 2:34 pm

    ‘This is because without major changes to the planning system, Labour’s bold plan for net-zero carbon emissions from power by 2030 is unachievable.’

    Uhhh . . . even with it, the plan is unachievable.

  8. 2hmp permalink
    December 7, 2022 2:37 pm

    Dim politicians ? Surely not ?

  9. Phil Beckley permalink
    December 7, 2022 2:46 pm

    The CAGW hysteria rather blocks consideration of the possibility of the opposite, a period of global cooling. Even if only a possibility, such a cooling with maybe a 1963 style winter should be included in Government planning. I doubt if any amount of wind power would be adequate.

    • John Culhane permalink
      December 7, 2022 3:24 pm

      Update from Valentina Zharkova on prediction of global cooling.

  10. December 7, 2022 2:47 pm

    Fear not – with Keir Starchy at Labours helm, they are dead in the water anyway.

  11. Simon Derricutt permalink
    December 7, 2022 2:50 pm

    Almost certainly the inverters used by the wind-farms and solar farms will contain a phase-locked loop (PLL) to control frequency and to keep it in-phase with the grid power it sees. It’s probably got a fairly-short settling-time of a few cycles, to reduce the line-current drawn when the input frequency changes – similar problem here to reactive VAs versus real VAs, and where we have a reactive load then the actual RMS current in the line exceeds the net RMS current. If the settling time of the PLL is extended, it’s possible to simulate the inertia of a rotating mass, with the downside of the lines carrying more VAs and heating up a bit more and also the semiconductors needing a higher power rating, though this is actually what happens with the rotating inertia of a spinning generator too, in that you get a larger current in the wires and the generator when the phase of grid and generator aren’t the same. Since the wires have thermal inertia too, and the out-of-phase tends not to last long, nothing burns normally.

    Thus the low rotating inertia of the wind and solar generation is actually a design problem, and can be fixed by changing the design of the inverters slightly – just change the settling-time parameter and beef up the semiconductors. It’s possible to choose the desired inertia you want to simulate, and to calculate the peak current you need to allow for.

    As a side-benefit from this change, bringing the grid up after a crash should become easier, since an over-ride on the long settling-time of the PLL would allow the inverters to synchronise to the grid rapidly and make it easier to get the rotating generators in-sync before connecting them, since the addition of an extra generator to the grid will be a smaller proportion of total grid power at the time.

    Though this won’t fix the Dunkelflaute problem, it may be useful given that grid failures are obviously going to happen more often.

    My bet, however, is that the government-approved fix for wind or solar power not delivering enough energy will be to use those smart meters to remove loads instead.

    • December 7, 2022 4:59 pm

      South Australian wind farms contributed to a state-wide blackout because they failed to meet technical stability requirements. I would say that the System Operator was also culpable for simply assuming that its technical requirements had been met, with no testing done.

      https://theconversation.com/why-is-the-australian-energy-regulator-suing-wind-farms-and-why-now-121689

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        December 7, 2022 8:40 pm

        Relying on “theconversation” for facts is the same as relying on the ABC for unbiased news.
        The real problem was relying on the wind turbines in the first place. They shut down in high speed winds, and can’t start up without drawing power from the grid.
        Yes, there was a failure of an interconnector (built 1950’s for coal fired and then switched to provide for turbines) as there was again this year. The SOLUTION is said to be more interconnectors.

      • December 7, 2022 10:18 pm

        Testing? ‘We have our customers for that!’

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 7, 2022 7:29 pm

      National Grid has been working on alternative blackstart ideas, including starting small islanded grids with e.g. just a battery to begin that are then synchronised and joined to form a larger inertia grid which is easier to add more to. In fact, the have gone all PC and renamed it Distributed ReStart:

      https://www.nationalgrideso.com/future-energy/projects/distributed-restart

      They better have their sums right.

    • Jordan permalink
      December 7, 2022 8:42 pm

      There are some things not right with your comment Simon.
      You need to ask why National Grid has been quietly procuring large “synchronous compensators” for years now. These are large rotating machines which connect to the grid to replace the rotating alternators in proper power stations (but sync comps don’t produce power, and consume a couple of MW). Proper power stations provide synchronous services as an integral part of their design. Nowadays, National Grid purchases separate sych comp services, costing a couple of £10M each. It’s yet another cost we can attribute to wind generation which is never included in those “nine times cheaper” claims.
      See the following webpage:
      https://www.nationalgrideso.com/future-energy/projects/pathfinders/stability
      On some of the specific comments.
      The value of inertia is not just to produce reactive power (VArs), but to inject some short-term power into the network when system frequency drops. Large synchronous machines can do this using their mechanical rotational inertia, slowing down in the process. There isn’t the same underlying energy storage integral to an inverter/PLL, so asynchronous wind turbines don’t have this capability to any meaningful measure.
      Short Circuit Level (SCL) is another service provided by large synchronous machines which cannot be provided by asynchronous generators coupled to the network using an inverter/PLL. SCL is the ability of large synchronous machines to momentarily inject millions of amperes into the network when there is a fault (short circuit). This spike of current is essential for operation of protection relays, which will break the circuit for a short period to extinguish any arcing (the reason why the lights flicker). Synch comps are being installed to replace this too, since SCL has been dropping in certain regions of the network.
      Finally wind turbines have not been considered suitable for recovery of a network from a shutdown. National Grid is looking to see if it can change this. One of the main reasons why windfarms are not considered suitable for recovery is National Grid’s standard for block loading capability at around 30MW (switching on parts of the network during restoration). You can get that from a large synchronous machine in a proper power station, but it is problematic to deliver this from from asynchronous wind generation coupled using inverter/PLLs.

    • iariar permalink
      December 8, 2022 7:46 am

      Simon,

      inertia is just a short term phenomenon and is used to give governers time to alter output and bring frequency back in line, a damper in other words. This requires a reserve of power when frequency droops, as it mostly does something wind generators do not have, so I have my doubts that clever electronics can work?

      • Simon Derricutt permalink
        December 8, 2022 11:02 am

        iariar and Jordan – yep, the “simulated inertia” does need some extra local energy storage (batteries or supercaps) and the ability of the inverter to deliver a higher current because its output will no longer be exactly in-phase with the grid. It will normally be pulling the frequency up, and for half the cycle it will be sourcing extra current and at the other half of the cycle it will be sinking it.

        Using a wound alternator and spinning mass gives the ability to source or sink pretty massive overloads for short times without the device releasing the magic smoke. We won’t have the same sort of overload capabilities using semiconductors. If the system protection relies on massive overloads to trip switches, then adding simulated inertia in the solar/wind inverters wouldn’t work well, and the inverters would fail.

        Still, simulating inertia by limiting the rate at which the inverter frequency normally changes is pretty simple technically. On the other end of the wire, you couldn’t discern whether this was simulated inertia or real spinning generators. There is a cost involved, so maybe this isn’t done because it hasn’t been specified as desirable or obligatory. At the moment, the inverters are only asked to lock on to the frequency and phase they are fed with, but it’s also possible to tell them to lead or lag the phase of the grid.

        Obviously this solution won’t be as rugged as the actual spinning mass and wound rotors/stators. It could however solve the problem of not enough inertia in the grid when there aren’t enough real alternators, and make a black start faster.

      • December 8, 2022 1:03 pm

        Simon,

        has any of this really been tested live, i.e on a grid? You mention batteries as a source of extra energy but how frequently would this system operate until the storage is depleted?
        Really this surely is not a viable answer and that more and more expense is being added to a source that is not really feasible as a replacement for conventional generation?

      • Simon Derricutt permalink
        December 8, 2022 1:34 pm

        iariar – fairly obviously, this hasn’t been applied to a live grid. However, any inverter is going to need capacitor storage anyway, and implementing this idea just needs a bit more, because the current drawn/released is larger the more phase-difference you are aiming for. That storage is depleted for 10ms then filled again for 10ms at 50Hz. The power being fed from the wind/solar remains the same, but the instantaneous current in the wires increases the more phase you’re trying to correct.

        Yep, wind and solar will be more of a problem the higher percentage of the total grid they comprise. Yep, also, synthetic inertia won’t be free, and means you need to have more-powerful semiconductors than you would need for phase-following. It may still be useful to reduce the practical problems of frequency variations on a grid with a high percentage of wind and solar, though. Most of what’s needed is actually already there, just needs some beefing-up for some parts and a bit of re-programming of the software for phase-following.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        December 9, 2022 9:55 am

        You should check out the Chapelcross trial

        https://www.nationalgrideso.com/future-energy/projects/distributed-restart/power-engineering-trials-studies

  12. Phoenix44 permalink
    December 7, 2022 3:01 pm

    Looking at their bios, they are all activists. Quite how anybody can think activists give you unbiased data analysis is beyond me.

    But this is so not data analysis its embarrassing. Wishful thinking using made up numbers. That such nonsense is used to justify political policy is deeply worrying. We are running full tilt to catastrophe based on nothing more than wanting something to work.

  13. Realist permalink
    December 7, 2022 3:04 pm

    Why don’t the parties just merge instead of pretending to be different? It seems all political parties these days HATE their own populations by pursuing the “climate”, “green” and “net zero” madness. Mother Nature will do whatever she wants irrespective of how many bans and taxes the politicians increase and invent.
    Whatever happened to Brexit? This is homegrown lunacy and should have stopped and been reversed when Brexit happened.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      December 7, 2022 4:01 pm

      “Why don’t the parties just merge instead of pretending to be different?”

      Apart from Blighty actually having a pretty robust voting & counting system, we might as well be living in America. Every day I read angry comments on US based sites complaining about RINO’s aiding and abetting Democrats in their campaign to destroy the country. The term “Uniparty” is frequently mentioned, and it applies perfectly to the UK political situation. It no longer matters who we vote for, as all the current parties are wedded to the NetZero narrative. And even if Farrage (or anyone else) sets up as a genuine alternative they will never get enough votes, yet alone seats in Parliament, to make a difference. I’ve given up despairing, and have just become resigned to watching my retirement turn to ****

      • Jordan permalink
        December 7, 2022 8:48 pm

        There is hope Dave.
        UKIP never won a single parliamentary seat – their one MP was a defector from the Tories. However 4 million supporters, drawn from both Conservative and Labour, was enough to unnerve David Cameron into the 2016 Brexit referendum that he clearly never wanted (having campaigned against it). Here we are today, outside the EU and not one single UKIP MP having ever been elected.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        December 7, 2022 9:31 pm

        @Jordan
        The same effect works for the Greens, a single MP is all they’ve ever managed. Last general election 865,707 votes Lib Dems 3,696,419.
        Yet major parties including Tories feel forced to include the most extreme Green policies in their manifestoes

  14. December 7, 2022 3:15 pm

    No mention of the astronomical costs. With the UK currently broke (and woke), it isn’t going to happen.

  15. December 7, 2022 3:19 pm

    I smell unicorn faeces

  16. December 7, 2022 3:54 pm

    we can virtually decarbonise the electricity grid by 2030

    ‘Virtually’ means ‘on our computers’. In the real world, not so much.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      December 7, 2022 7:30 pm

      And what they can’t decarbonise they will – by default – de-industrialise. We shall then be a vassal-state at the beck-and-call of the WEF and the quisling EU (as will be their own people).
      They ‘know’ that technically, NZ does not buy anything and that renewables cannot be relied upon (literally) when they are really needed, So, the problem I have with this is, where the hell is the ‘what-if’ plan? Where is the strategy that will get us through a cold climate if TPTB are wrong on AGW? There is none. They have put all their (our) money on one horse – and it looks pretty lame to me.

      • Bill Toland permalink
        December 8, 2022 10:40 am

        This is the equivalent of proclaiming that we will all ride unicorns in the future. To encourage the transition to unicorns, all horses will be shot immediately. What could possibly go wrong?

  17. The Informed Consumer permalink
    December 7, 2022 4:00 pm

    Phil MacDonald
    Chief Operating Officer
    Phil’s analysis focuses on the UK 2035 gas phase-out, UK carbon pricing after Brexit, and industrial CCS and BECCS (biomass with carbon capture and storage).

    His previous roles have included campaigning with the Liberal Democrats in the UK and the Democrats in the US.

    He holds an MSc. in Evolution, Ecology & Conservation from Imperial College. (My emphasis, assuming my tags work).

    No engineering qualifications then……..

    • December 7, 2022 4:12 pm

      Qualified in being unable to realise he is talking rubbish

    • bobn permalink
      December 7, 2022 6:12 pm

      Hmm, an MSc with no science in it. Typical of Imperial polytech.

      • December 7, 2022 6:42 pm

        When I was there it was all science, engineering and mining. those were the good old days.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        December 8, 2022 9:42 am

        Evolution is science!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      December 7, 2022 7:41 pm

      If old MacDonald had a (wind) farm – when the wind didn’t blow he’d have no E & I – just loads of Bull….
      He should be made to produce calculations that show that CCS is a workable and economic strategy and is actually viable (not that he could do the calcs). It’s easy to talk when you don’t have to stand behind the results of your decisions -when you are most likely not going to be around to face up to them.

  18. December 7, 2022 4:11 pm

    Reality will catch up with these idiots. The sooner the better.

  19. John Hultquist permalink
    December 7, 2022 4:23 pm

    what the Germans call dunkelflaute ~~~> “dark doldrums”
    Or, when the wind doesn’t blow you get to eat dinner in the dark!

    • Gamecock permalink
      December 7, 2022 7:17 pm

      Living the intermittent life.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      December 8, 2022 4:11 pm

      At 2;00pm today (8th December ) in Germany the 127.4GW of capacity (62.5GW solar and 64.9GW wind) was managing a total of 8.71GW (3.1 GW solar and 5.61GW wind). So now it is getting dark and what is left of the wind is dropping as fast as the temperature. Candlelit dinner tonight then!
      https://app.electricitymaps.com/zone/DE

  20. GeoffB permalink
    December 7, 2022 4:57 pm

    Lets see how things go this winter, it is going to be tight to keep the lights on, but so far the gas has held up and onshore storage is full and LNG is plentiful, but it is costing a lot. Why is fracking demonised? Surely it makes sense to explore on shore gas and expand north sea production than build all these useless windmills. All the complex arguments about lack of grid stability, reactive power, and frequency trips are totally ignored by the politicians as they do not understand the science. My concern is that National Grid and the idiots at OFGEM are supposed to be experts, yet they go along with these crazy ideas. Of course National Grid is making loads of money exporting gas and electricity to the continent and OFGEM has lost sight of its remit to protect consumers from high costs and under Jonathan Brearley (Baroness Worthington’s co writer of climate change act for Ed Miliband) gone green. The usual suspects are once again in charge of the Asylum. The only event that will bring sense is the failure of the grid and a black start scenario , taking a week to get power back on, I have to confess that I am hoping that it happens, it is the only way to stop the eco loons.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      December 7, 2022 5:37 pm

      “OFGEM are supposed to be experts”

      No doubt some are, but almost certainly in the minority.

      “Yet they go along with these crazy ideas”

      You’ve got to consider the latest curse of “Cancel Culture” – The older ones are thinking of their pensions, and aren’t going to rock the boat. The less experienced are probably so indoctrinated with Green Crap they won’t speak out either.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      December 7, 2022 9:37 pm

      Some residents of Sheffield have tasted a gas shortage over the last few days. Not caused by lack of supply but by a burst water main flooding the Gas Main

      https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/07/sheffield-major-incident-declared-after-thousands-are-left-without-gas-17893654/

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        December 8, 2022 4:34 pm

        Isn’t this a classic demonstration of what can happen in the future? Northern Powergrids are having to warn customers not to use too much electricity (for heating) because the distribution grid can’t handle it. So what are they going to do when we are all forced to have heat pumps, electric ovens and EV chargers?

  21. Mack permalink
    December 7, 2022 5:15 pm

    As our Year Zero obsessed masters drive the country off a cliff their followers can happily freeze in their beds knowing that they’ve done their bit to combat the global warming that isn’t happening anymore. Marvellous. As for the rest of us, it seems our options to avoid or deter this national disaster are becoming increasingly limited.

    • Penda100 permalink
      December 7, 2022 7:14 pm

      Global warming isn’t happening anymore – see, the Eco-loons have saved the planet!

  22. William George permalink
    December 7, 2022 5:20 pm

    Beware the Marxist Miliband brothers sneaking in to dethrone Starmer and envelope us in their subjugation.

  23. Nicholas Lewis permalink
    December 7, 2022 6:14 pm

    i despair that politicians and the media just gloss over the basics of electricity supply and keep pushing this flawed philosophy.

  24. REM permalink
    December 7, 2022 6:47 pm

    Tories = wind turbines; Labour = wind turbines; LibDems = wind turbines; all despite wind turbines providing only a quarter of what their punters say they will and all requiring back-up which isn’t paid for by those same punters. Even Farage says that he accepts that “climate change” is happening, despite all proper scientific evidence to the contrary. I have no one to vote for.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      December 7, 2022 7:50 pm

      It’s a pity we can’t invoke the VW’s mpg/emissions scam and hold wind farm owners/proposers to the claim that their new windfarm will supply 2,000,000 homes – when, in truth, they might manage 500k some of the time, and sometimes, fewer than that a lot of the time.
      This nonsense has got to end.

  25. alastairgray29yahoocom permalink
    December 7, 2022 7:40 pm

    According to Gridwatch .com at 19.00 hrs today
    Demand = 44 Gw
    Wind = 9 GW
    gas = 22 GW
    Total installed wind power = 20 GW
    so wind is operating at 18% of capacity
    Today 90 GW of wind at 18% capacity would generate all of the07 Dec 2022 demand. Last week it would have fallen well short , and surely in 2030 with all our heat pumps and EV’s we will need much more than( 90+20 ) GW of installed capacity. nut dont rely on Bojo Milliband and their pals to actually do the calculations

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      December 7, 2022 7:57 pm

      Per my previous reply…if the installed wind is 20 GW, according to the politicians, this is equivalent to 10 million homes. Those homes that are blacked out because of the reality of wind should be able to sue for lack of supply as per the VW scam.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        December 7, 2022 9:41 pm

        According to Wikipedia the installed wind capacity is over 25GW, 14 GW onshore and 11 GW offshore.

  26. A+man+of+no+rank permalink
    December 7, 2022 8:16 pm

    On this one thread Paul shows how these ‘think tanks’ show little technical expertise. Simon Derricut explains about phase-locked loops, rotating mass inertia, settling times and semiconductors. And there is always a lot more technical discussion throughout this NALOPKT website.
    Why is the BBC not giving simple explanations of Grid technology? This is my main gripe, they are always spouting on about the imminent dangers of global warming, denying any challenge and so it is not at all surprising that they have the general public swallowing it all up. Every evening the BBC asks what are politicians doing to get us out of this cost of living crisis without even realising that they are fully implicit in the downgrading of my country.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 8, 2022 9:46 am

      Because if the BBC looked at it in detail, it would fall apart. Same with most of their reporting on most things. They use the level of detail that supports what they want to say.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      December 8, 2022 2:50 pm

      Wishful thinking tanks…

  27. Douglas Brodie permalink
    December 7, 2022 8:24 pm

    It’s time to join the dots and conclude that the madness is deliberate and then challenge the proponents of Net Zero to admit that Net Zero equates to economic ruin and premeditated mass murder.

    • December 7, 2022 8:49 pm

      Well, if people die in this cold snap because they were too afraid to put the heating on, then it will be possible to draw a direct line from that to the energy policies that have been inflicted on us over the last 2 decades.

      • Gamecock permalink
        December 8, 2022 12:38 am

        You give the public too much credit. It’s going to take more than a few deaths to precipitate change.

        “How many fools does it take to make up a public?” – Chamfort

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        December 8, 2022 9:47 am

        We already have the culprit – Putin’s War as ministers now call it. That prices were rising steeply before that doesn’t matter. Virtually everything politicians and media say is lies.

  28. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 7, 2022 8:39 pm

    Gas price rose dramatically before Putin invaded Ukraine, caused by renewables/net zero policy.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/statsjamie/status/1594008811827773441

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 8, 2022 9:49 am

      No gas prices rose because of lockdowns. They caused a substantial shift in consumption from services to goods and caused chaos in supply chains that then went at full-time to catch up. And LNG deliveries were all over the place.

  29. tomo permalink
    December 7, 2022 11:07 pm

    Labour 🤡

  30. tomo permalink
    December 7, 2022 11:20 pm

    A new tactic from local rag farmers Newquest UK – protecting Just Stop Oil et al via disabling comments.

    https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/23173484.wiltshire-climate-protesters-damage-constables-hay-wain/

    Tried from several browsers – it looks like comments are open – but the comment section doesn’t load / open…

    -deliberate-

    They’ve not done it this way before – usually there’s no click link to comment. They’ve also hidden articles (from “most viewed” and “most commented” ) with dozens of negative comments about road blockers and other assorted eco-twerps.

    • David Young permalink
      December 8, 2022 2:05 am

      Although it’s an odd way of going about it, I think it’s likely comments aren’t allowed because of it’s being an ongoing trial. Then again, it could also be yet another example of Newsquest’s legendary IT incompetence. I once had great difficulty in getting a post on my local rag’s website accepted, until I realised it didn’t like the $ symbol.

      • tomo permalink
        December 8, 2022 8:01 am

        New quest are incompetent – but this is a consistent pattern and only occurs afaics on Greenie activist articles

  31. Velcro permalink
    December 7, 2022 11:32 pm

    Compare UAH monthly lower troposphere temperature through November 2022 with the 160 year AMO record (regarded as ‘robust’). Over the matching years it’s a very good correlation. No huge surprise there, but the AMO extrapolates as the next 40 years being colder. Hope those wind turbines can keep us warm! And solvent! Incidentally, proxy data can be used to extend the AMO cyclicity back 1200 years. Not too many EV’s or ICE’s around then

  32. iariar permalink
    December 8, 2022 7:58 am

    I believe that the perception far too many people, including politicians and their advisors have, is that wind and solar generators are an equivalent to conventional generators and can replace them which is false.
    Do we really have to go so far as to adding too much asynchronous, that is uncontrollable, wind capacity to our grid.
    During lockdown at a time of high wind and low demand the National Grid had to curtail wind and some nuclear just to keep the grid on line. There has to be sufficient controllable generation to keep balance, which is gas in the U.K..

    • Gamecock permalink
      December 8, 2022 11:01 am

      You’ll never get there. Renewables exist at the grace of fossil fuel generation. The palsy of intermittence is fatal. The renewable fad dies when they have to pay for their own backup.

  33. Mark Hodgson permalink
    December 8, 2022 8:27 am

    Paul, thanks for a welcome update on this madness. Here’s my take on it back in September:

    Cloud Cuckoo Land

  34. ancientpopeye permalink
    December 8, 2022 8:45 am

    Given green power depends upon the wind being the right kind of wind, green electricity works out to be the mosr expensive product. Start fracking and open up more coal mines, if Germany, China, India can do it why can’t we and bring elecricity prices down?

    • December 8, 2022 9:40 am

      Because the idiots politicians and greenie wackos couldn’t achieve paek self satisfaction with their virtue signalling

      • devonblueboy permalink
        December 8, 2022 9:52 am

        Virtually everything? How about absolutely everything? Taking the latter point of view reduces potential disappointment to zero.

  35. December 8, 2022 1:23 pm

    Puerto Rico invested government money in wind turbines and solar panels now scattered across the landscape. All these UK looters need do is scoop them up and recycle them using money taken by force.

  36. ThinkingScientist permalink
    December 8, 2022 2:32 pm

    Miliband was on this morning berating the opening of Whitehaven and “failure of climate leadership” by Rishi Sunak. Miliband fails to understand that coking coal is for steel making…God help us when Labour get in 2024 and he is climate and energy Tsar.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      December 8, 2022 3:00 pm

      May I take you up on the point “when Labour get in 2024”- I really would not be so sure. Firstly this does Labour no favours https://boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/2023-review/
      The (possibly overplayed) issue of voter ID may also have an adverse affect on Labour votes.
      Opinion polls are notably inaccurate and just remember that Sheffield Rally of 1992 when Neil Kinnock was heralded as the PM in waiting – John Major secured the highest number of votes cast ever before or since (despite the electorate increase.
      Going further back, the 1970 election had the highest percentage of first time voters ever (voting age reduced to 18 and the post war “baby boom”) with Harold Wilson considered odds on favourite, Ted Heath secured a majority.
      Even in 2019 the 15.5 million registered voters who could not be arsed to vote outnumbered the just under 14 million that Boris secured.
      Whilst conversely in 2001 and 2005 Tony Blair achieved majorities with the lowest number of votes cast in the age of universal suffrage it goes to demonstrate that in a potential multi way fight almost anything can happen.

      • December 9, 2022 2:16 pm

        Labour are likely to be the best campaigners for the Tories with things such as their support for the unions that have unleashed a wave of strikes this month, and they are still in trouble on the women with penises issue.

  37. ThinkingScientist permalink
    December 8, 2022 2:48 pm

    So looking at the Wind numbers, as PH notes current wind at times only averaged 1.6 GW or 9% that equates to about 18 GW of current wind capacity.

    Peak demand currently in winter is about 45 GW.

    So if we add 90 GW of capacity during the same level of wind lull the available wind power will be 108/18*1.6 = 9.6 GW, or only about 21% of demand. That calculation is so simple and illustrative and yet Ed Miliband doesn’t understand the problem I think.

    So just on a back of the envelope basis to meet current peak demand of 45 GW from wind would require you to think about building 45/0.09 = 500 GW of wind capacity. At 8MW maximum capacity per offshore turbine Ed needs to get 62,500 online by 2030. If he gets in government in 2024 he will have 6 years, so building about 10,000 per year will get you there.

    Of course, even with all that the lights would go out without 100% reliable backup.

    These people are stupid, insane idiots who should never, ever, ever have been allowed to play with sharp things and certainly not govern the country. Its like a child with a machine gun. The damage to the UK standard of living and econmy is going to be catastrophic.

  38. Ray Sanders permalink
    December 8, 2022 3:35 pm

    A major point that seems to conveniently get overlooked in all these calculations is exactly where and in what way generation is connected. DUKES 5.12 for end of 2021 shows just 66.9GW capacity connected to the GB Transmission grid (400kV/275kV) with a further 31.9GW capacity embedded in the lower voltage distribution networks.
    This is a very significant change over the last decade and has major implications. An excess of DNO connected wind in the Scottish Borders is sweet FA use to the South East of England if it cannot be transmitted anywhere. (It is worth pointing out that this embedded generation is not shown on the likes of Gridwatch in real time and overall GB demand/generation is always higher than is recorded there)
    Hydrogen advocates forget this small problem i.e. where do you site the electrolysers? If by the embedded wind turbines you have to transport the end product to the thermal power plant…how? If you site the electrolysers by the Transmission Grid connected power plant, how do you get the embedded plant’s electricity to them to use it? Or do you just have zillions of electrolyser plant everywhere (it ain’t cheap) just in case?

  39. December 8, 2022 6:40 pm

    The Milliband brothers – one a failed Labour leader more interested in carving into blocks of granite than engaging with the electorate. The other a ‘useful idiot’ (but a highly paid one) for Hilary Clinton. The Johnson – the worst prime minister in British history. Last (and least) ‘Truss of 44 days’.
    What a dream-team. What could possibly go wrong?

  40. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 8, 2022 11:34 pm

    I found their more detailed assumptions here:

    https://github.com/ember-climate/pypsa-uk/

    It includes instructions for downloading and running their optimisation model. I may get around to that later, but for starters I downloaded their .xlsx data file that contains the underlying input data. It does include hourly profiles over a year for demand, onshore and offshore wind and solar capacity factors, as well as details on capacities of all the minor components like storage, CHP etc. It includes regional splits on a rather rudimentary basis which probably adds little to considering the country as a whole.

    A first quick look shows that their allegedly “challenging” scenarios are not in the least challenging at all: in fact, they assume average capacity factors that are much higher than have been achieved so far for wind and solar. It is allegedly based on data from ENTSO-E, but that’s a >1GB download which I am not about to do and pick over. Much simpler will be to compare against the UK data for 2021 – a genuinely poor renewables year. Also a check against a really good renewables year, because curtailment is a major factor in this kind of work. Indeed, EMBER admit their scenario results in 133TWh of curtailment (compared with their supposed demand assumption of 350TWh) – but they claim that 108TWh could be used to generate 2.1m tonnes of hydrogen.

    Incidentally, I found their peak demand was 72GW, not 62GW.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 9, 2022 9:58 am

      I have since found they used demand projections from ENTSO-E and scaled them down by 14%.

  41. December 9, 2022 2:14 pm

    Something not mentioned is what happens when the gas main pressure drops. There is a report of an isolated village in the Cotswold seeing the pressure drop so low that their boilers are shutting off. There was a mention earlier of a flooded gas main – I experienced that a few years ago during a mild December. A newly replaced gas main had a hole that let in water once the water table lifted up with autumn rains. My boiler was still working but putting the kettle on I noticed the flame was low – possibly at the same time as the heating. A knock on the door and SGN were asking to test the pressure commenting that he was surprised my boiler WAS still working. He took the reading then shut me off for 5 days.

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