Power when you need it? No Wind – Woke up to that?
By Paul Homewood
If this is the research standard for wind energy reliability, heaven help us all:
No one is seriously saying that the wind will stop blowing completely around the UK, as they imply. This is just a red herring.
The real problem is that there are long periods, days and even weeks, when wind power is generated at extremely low levels.
It can also vary widely on an hourly basis, as the summary of the past 48 hours shows below:
Using data from GB . Country Grid Status, so far this year, wind power has been produced at less than 2 GW of the time 22% of the time. 2 GW operates at about 10% power factor, which I’m sure most ordinary people would consider pretty worthless.
It even ran at less than 1 GW for 9% of the year. The average output is over 5 GW.
It is true that low winds tend to be more common in the summer, when demand is low. But they can still occur in winter. From February 27 to March 4, wind power never reached 2.5 GW for 112 consecutive hours. During this period, it was 2 GW lower for 99 hours and averaged just 1.1 GW overall.
It doesn’t matter how much wind capacity you have. Naught percent of anything is still nothing.