One thing we have learnt this week -wind output record

wind turbine in France from below bladesThis week another UK wind output record was broken.  Some people may know that a few weeks ago (I posted to the facebook page) that very briefly wind output overtook nuclear output in the UK.  Its happened again but this time wind output has overtaken nuclear output for a whole 24 hours meeting 24% of the UK’s electricity needs.  With declining nuclear output this was going to happen eventually, but this has occurred most recently due to two nuclear power stations being off line for repairs.  Not so bad for something that many critics say does not work!

If you take the other basket of renewables on the grid; solar (not measured specifically on a real time basis), hydro and biomass then renewables output has been beating nuclear output for some time.  In a way this concentration on wind output has been a bit artificial.  However as we wrote in our book.

There is no doubt that largescale wind will become a huge source of renewable electricity in the medium term. Offshore wind farms may have better wind resources but are more expensive to build and run. Onshore wind faces opposition around noise and visual issues.”

As wind capacity increases as nuclear decreases (even if in the long term any new nuclear power stations are built) this wind output record will be broken again and again.  Wind is here to stay.  The lesson we need to learn from this is we urgently need to invest in more energy storage (not hydrogen).

Neil

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