Wind Power Collapses During Calm Weather Means Soaring Power Prices & Power Rationing

Spread the love

From STOP THESE THINGS

January 10, 2023 by stopthesethings 

The British like to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, but panic sets in when calm weather hits and wind power output hits the floor. What follows is another round of opportunistic price gouging by the owners of Britain’s gas-fired power plants, and remaining coal-fired plants, able to charge ludicrous amounts for electricity simply because they’re the only game in town.

Gullible MPs and cynical rent-seekers have fashioned an energy ‘policy’ deliberately designed to drive low-cost coal-fired generators out of business, and they bend over backwards to keep nuclear plants from being considered, let alone ever being built.

These days, when calm weather sets in, and the limited remaining capacity from dispatchable coal and gas-fired plants is spent, Britain’s (hopeful) power consumers soon find themselves sitting freezing in the dark.

The Germans call gloomy, windless weather ‘dunkelflaute’ which, in a country that’s meant to lead the charge on transitioning to an all-wind and sun-powered future sounds more than just a little defeatist.

Thanks to their equally unhinged obsession with wholly unreliable wind power, Brits – faced with rocketing power bills and routine weather-related power rationing – might need to find some phraseology, all their own; something that captures the delusional lunacy of attempting to rely upon the weather for power.

Here’s a piece from The Australian, a few weeks back and Britain’s unfolding wind power-driven disaster.

Coal plants on alert as Britain risks blackouts
The Australian
Emily Gosden
12 December 2022

UK electricity prices for this evening set a record high as cold, calm weather on Sunday sparked fears of a supply shortage.

National Grid was considering whether to trigger emergency plans to fire up old coal plants, in case subsea cables from Europe fail to deliver the power supplies that it is relying on. Coal plants were understood to have been put on alert for potential deployment.

Cold weather is forecast to increase electricity demand in Britain to the highest level so far this winter over the teatime peak on Monday night, as households use more energy to keep warm.

At the same time, still conditions mean wind farms are forecast to be generating less than a tenth of their maximum capacity. Wind was generating only about 3 per cent of Britain’s electricity on Sunday afternoon.

“Day-ahead” wholesale prices for electricity for 5pm to 6pm on Monday night soared to £2,585.80 ($4,664.86) per megawatt-hour on Sunday, setting a record for the Epex exchange, as traders scrambled to outbid the Continent for scarce power supplies and ensure electricity imports from France. The record price is about 50 times higher than average winter power prices before the energy crisis hit last year. It is equivalent to £2.59 per kilowatt-hour, which compares with household unit rates capped at 32p per kilowatt-hour this winter.

Tom Edwards, of Cornwall Insight, the consultancy, said that with cold, still weather forecast “prices have risen significantly in the day ahead market – over and above continental levels”, which he said should ensure imports when needed.

Phil Hewitt, of EnAppSys, another consultancy, said: “The high prices have resulted in almost every power station in Britain running today in the wholesale market and the interconnectors from Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and France all being set to full export into the British market, providing Britain with enough power.”

However, he said there remained a risk of power shortages on the Continent, which could result in the flows of electricity across the interconnectors to Britain being “reversed at short notice”, which might cause problems.

National Grid warned in October that if it was unable to import enough electricity from Europe, it may have to rely on two emergency schemes to keep the lights on: firing up old coal plants and paying households to use less. Coal plants can be instructed until about 12 hours before they may be needed and a Grid spokesman did not rule out deploying them on Sunday night.

On Sunday households with smart meters to cut their power usage. However, it is due to be carrying out a trial of the scheme on Monday anyway, which analysts said was “conveniently timed”. Hundreds of thousands of households could be paid to use less power between 5pm and 7pm, helping to ease the strain.

National Grid declined to comment. It has warned previously that in a worst-case scenario in which Britain is unable to import enough gas for its power plants, there could be rolling blackouts between 4pm and 7pm on weekday evenings.


The Australian

Hard to stay calm when everyone’s freezing in the dark.