UK wind power hype fails the reality test

From Tallbloke’s Talkshop

September 15, 2023 by oldbrew

Wind power triumphs: UK’s energy mix breezes past fossil fuels’ – trumpets Energy Live News. But turning to Gridwatch this morning, the current picture is totally different: wind minimal, gas nearly half of total electricity generation. As usual, reports misleadingly highlight wind *capacity*, which is merely the theoretical maximum output in ideal conditions. Of course in windier conditions the numbers can be a lot different, but the point is we’re not seeing anything like the runaway success being claimed by the wind lobby, and never will as the weather always decides how well or poorly it can perform. No amount of capacity changes that – unlike on-demand gas.
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Wind power has overtaken fossil fuels in installed capacity, says Energy Live News.

Image: Shutterstock

The analysis from Imperial College London, conducted for Drax Electric Insights, reveals that wind capacity reached 27.9GW in June, surpassing the 27.7GW installed capacity of gas generation.

This marks the first time in more than a century that the UK has more installed wind capacity than gas generation, according to experts.

The development has come at a time when the output from gas power stations has seen a substantial decline of 23% in Q2 2023 compared to the same period last year, according to the report.
. . .
Dr Iain Staffell of Imperial College London, who leads the Drax Electric Insights report series, commented: “Wind power is blowing away gas and coal from Britain’s energy mix, and in just a decade, we’ve gone from relying completely on the polluting fuels of the past to embracing the clean energy technologies of the future.

“The shift to wind as the largest power source by capacity is a clear sign of the progress we’ve made, showing countries around the world that they can decarbonise their power grids when government and industry work together.” [Talkshop comment – not so fast, see Gridwatch].

Full article here.
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Another Gridwatch snapshot from a week ago: