The United Kingdom’s growing reliance on renewable energy may be setting it up for electricity shortages.
For two days (Nov. 4 and 5), the UK ‘s margin of electricity was dangerously low, says John Constable of the Global Warming Policy Forum. The National Grid (which manages supply) had to bring in one of the country’s last remaining coal-powered plants to keep supplies up.
A high pressure over the country had reduced the wind available for electricity production and U.K. wind energy was producing at only 17 percent of capacity. There were “critically important contributions over the peak hours from the last of the UK’s remaining coal plants, which provided over 2,264 MW of generation,” as well as gas turbines of pumped hydropower storage, writes Constable. Furthermore:
“None of this coal plant is scheduled to remain in the market for much longer, and timely replacement is far from guaranteed, for coal is not the only high-quality generator type being driven from the system by policy. . . . even gas generators are struggling.”
“In spite of the lamentable performance of wind power there was no system failure. The much depleted, demoralised and despised conventional generators saved the day. The United Kingdom’s government continues to boast of ‘Powering Past Coal,’ while as a matter of fact relying on this fuel, and indeed on fossil fuels and conventional energy generally, including nuclear, to guarantee security of electricity supply. How much longer that can continue is questionable.”
See also Ross Clark of Climate Change Dispatch on this topic.
Image is by Prawny at Pixabay.com.