Coal Outperforms Wind Power During UK Wind Week!


NOVEMBER 27, 2020tags: Electricity

By Paul Homewood

h/t Joe Public


With an impeccable sense of timing, some bright spark decided to make this UK Wind Week.

Perhaps they should have called it UK NO Wind Week!


Sat under an anticyclone, Britain’s contribution from wind power since yesterday has been less than 1GW, around 2% of the total electricity generated. This situation is expected to last a few more days yet.

As ever, it is fossil fuels which have come to the rescue, with gas currently supplying 60% of the nation’s power, and even coal, which has been fired up to give 7%.

Indeed, in the last day we have had more power from coal than from wind.

Thirteen years ago, the Labour government promised us that wind power could be powering every home by this year. (I wonder where I have heard that lately!)


And we were supposed to run out of gas by now, because of disruption to supplies!


We are governed by idiots.

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Ron Long
November 29, 2020 2:16 am

I wonder what BoJo thinks when he reads stuff like this? Or has someone call it to his attention? Or maybe he is focused like a laser beam on quarantines for coronavirus? My genes are from England, and I’m starting to worry about where I’m headed as I gain more experience (get older).

Reply to  Ron Long
November 29, 2020 2:35 am

I wonder what BoJo thinks when he reads stuff like this

We need more windmills.

Dave Ward
Reply to  mwhite
November 29, 2020 4:01 am

“I wonder what BoJo thinks when he reads stuff like this”

What makes you think that BoJo reads stuff like this?

A C Osborn
Reply to  Dave Ward
November 30, 2020 1:09 am

What makes you think Bojo thinks?
This is his girlfriend’s pillow talk.

patrick healy
Reply to  Dave Ward
November 30, 2020 8:50 am

What makes you think Boris Corbyn can think?

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  mwhite
November 29, 2020 6:41 am

I doubt that, he had a long history as a sceptic

Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
November 29, 2020 10:23 am

BoJo used to be a skeptic – not anymore! BoJo is now BloJo – his new lefty lady friend has bewitched him. It’s a medical fact – guys get a new girlfriend who can suck a golf ball through a garden hose and the vacuum affects their brain – like altitude sickness – the living brain-dead.

November 29, 2020 1:33 pm


Reply to  mwhite
November 29, 2020 9:32 am

We need more cowbell.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  mwhite
November 30, 2020 1:22 pm

As someone demonically said gobmint’s are run my cluster-f*cks of imbecilics.

Reply to  Ron Long
November 29, 2020 2:56 am

As a retired UK power station engineer, I am appalled at what is being proposed with our energy system.
People, especially politicians and journalists has absolutely NO idea of how a balanced grid system works or the scale of numbers on this subject. Most of the talk of wind farms “powering” thousands of homes is misleading and frankly meaningless, with the net supply per home often based on the UK average demand drawn up by (the now defunct) Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
THAt is NOT “powering” a home. Try having a shower with 1 kilowatt.
I made a note of what Boris said and I can quote “”You heard me right. Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands”… “It was wind that pulled the sails of Drake and Raleigh and Nelson and propelled this country to greatness”
As we enter the next phase of lunacy, moving to electric cars and electric space heating, where do they think that supply will come from if we turn our backs on fossil fuels?
I would urge readers to bookmark this website (in the lead article) and just keep a day to day check on the reality in the UK.

Climate believer
Reply to  Greyleader2
November 29, 2020 3:21 am

+1 Boris is such a dope.

Reply to  Greyleader2
November 29, 2020 3:35 am

British politicians are so dumb they don’t even understand the law of Conservation of Energy.

Reply to  Graemethecat
November 29, 2020 3:45 am

British politicians are so dumb

No argument whatsoever on that point, but can you get Biden or any other politician to explain the law of Conservation of Energy?

What makes US politicians, for example, any better than British ones?

doug neugold
Reply to  fretslider
November 29, 2020 4:57 am

Take it from me, as an American, US Political leadership, notably our leftist progressive coup, are as dumb or dumber than UK politicians. Especially when it comes to climate discussions. Nurtured by chief climate opportunist and cult leader Al Gore, their adherence to the cult message is impressive. And because they are American, by default they have a large megaphone. Louder all the more so because the media here are the propaganda arm for that party. A very very sad state of affairs. Demoralizing for the thinking people in this country.

Reply to  fretslider
November 29, 2020 5:16 am

I have dual US and UK citizenship so pay attention to both sides of the pond. US politicians are worse, possibly much worse. Trump, for all his faults, isn’t a politician and knew that the GND was a total sham and would do great damage to America. Biden will be all in for the scam, not that dementia Joe will make any of the decisions, that with be John Kerry, a total doofus by anyone’s standards and Harris, POTUS in waiting. Boris is not much better but still better than Biden/Kerry/Harris and certainly better than Corbyn given the choice at the last election.

Dave Ward
Reply to  Greyleader2
November 29, 2020 4:11 am

“Try having a shower with 1 kilowatt”

It could be done, but ONLY with a hot water storage tank and suitable immersion heater. And that, in a nutshell, is the single biggest problem with “Renewable Energy” – it’s not controllable, or available on demand, and would require VAST storage facilities to have the slightest hope of powering a 24/7/365 economy. And as we all know, this just isn’t going to happen, due to raw material supply issues, subsequent disposal of waste, and astronomical cost implications.

As a practical example – my domestic electrical demand, averaged over the year, is a mere 150 watts. But even my relatively modest lifestyle occasionally needs 3kW or more for short periods…

Reply to  Dave Ward
November 29, 2020 4:47 am

There once was a Chairman of the CEGB who once said that we will have to get used to using electricity when it’s available.

Reply to  Brian BAKER
November 29, 2020 7:07 am

It was in an address to the Royal Academy of Engineering. Mr Steve Holliday, (the chief executive of National Grid), revealed that despite a proposed six-fold increase in wind farms by 2020, the days of permanently available electricity may be coming to an end.
He suggested that people would have to change their behaviour and consume it when it is available and stop thinking that the Grid will be there and provide power when we need it. This was reported on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and in the Daily Telegraph March 2nd 2011 (“Era of constant electricity at home is ending, says power chief”)

Reply to  Greyleader2
November 29, 2020 4:06 pm

Hi thanks for that. The CEGB used to publish a (quarterly) review and I assumed it was in their but thanks for pointing in the right direction. There was a debate once between Arthur Scargill about our nuclear future. The Chief Scientist CEGB (?) pulled a piece of Uranium from a box and said it was quite safe. Arthur stated that when he joined the colliery he had a bit of an upset tummy. One of the miners he was with took a piece of coal from his pocket and gave it to Arthur and said that it would settle an upset stomach. Arther turned to CEGB man and said that he would eat a piece of coal if the CEGB would eat a piece of Uranium.

But I don’t have any sources.

Reply to  Dave Ward
November 29, 2020 7:28 am

Your last point underlines mine. Demand has always varied throughout the day which makes the “powers X thousand homes” claim meaningless. If it were possible to disconnnect the wind/solar installation from the Grid and connect the “X thousand” homes to it, see how many consider thay have sufficient power. You might struggle with your 7KW car charger, 7KW electric shower,
3KW kettle, plus oven, hob and microwave and lighting……..and that’s before Boris bans gas central heating. I just want companies to be truthful, but rest-assure, the public will wake up to this one day (in the dark of course) 🙂

Ralph Gardner
Reply to  Dave Ward
November 30, 2020 4:14 pm

They discovered an algae that can convert sunlight to useable energy at 95% efficiency, new solar panels are around 20%, and researchers around the world are working to copy the mechanism.

Reply to  Ralph Gardner
December 1, 2020 9:46 am

That research is so far disconnected from any real working technology that it firmly falls into the highly speculative status. And if you read the paper, the 95% efficiency claim is highly dubious too.

Ian W
Reply to  Greyleader2
November 29, 2020 5:14 am

Greyleader2 – I think that you and the current set of replies to your comment, have misunderstood.

Johnson and all the NetZero zealots are fully aware that the UK cannot be powered by wind farms and other renewables. The intent is to deindustrialize the UK and the same for Australia and if Biden becomes president, the USA. China will become the only major industrial country in the world with consistent baseload power able to power heavy industry. It was not a mistake that China, the second largest economy in the world, was categorized in the Paris Accord as a ‘developing nation’ and allowed to build a new coal fired power station at the rate of about one a fortnight and will continue until that now UN Agenda favored date 2030. China should also be being paid support money from the ‘Green Fund’ set up by the Paris Accord into which the ‘first world nations’ are expected to pay.

So cripple your own country’s power grid and industrial base while funding the major competitor to build theirs. This is what Boris Johnson and the UK parliament are doing it is NOT a mistake they know the UK power supply will be insufficient as that is the aim of the exercise.

Climate believer
Reply to  Ian W
November 29, 2020 5:54 am

Occam’s razor Ian W.

Reply to  Climate believer
November 29, 2020 9:34 am

Cecile’s scalpel suggests that sacrifice for progress is an incurable good.

Bryan A
Reply to  Climate believer
November 29, 2020 12:15 pm

And sacrifice for the sake of Regress is stupidity at it’s finest

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Ian W
November 29, 2020 6:42 am

What an idiotic theory

Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
November 29, 2020 7:40 am

That China acts to take advantage of the West and some politicians are enabling this?

Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
November 30, 2020 6:33 am

Do I take it that the intention is not to deindustrialize UK and Australia. Why are we not following Germany and build a number of coal and lignite based power stations. The intention to deindustrialize was in the original Rio Conference. A remark from Maurice Strong, who organized the first U.N. Earth Climate Summit (1992) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil revealed the real goal: “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse.” The people who support this agenda are, to use the words of the great Nye Bevan —- lower than vermin.

Rick C PE
Reply to  Ian W
November 29, 2020 8:24 am

Very true. And there is absolutely nothing to prevent Xi or whomever might be in charge of China in 2030 from changing his mind and continuing to power their economy with coal. By then the deindustrialized West will have no power to influence China’s behavior.

Derek Smith
Reply to  Greyleader2
November 29, 2020 6:30 am

I am a retired Power Station charge engineer, like you I am truly appalled by the naivety of these jokers. One of the most important features of Grid stability relies on system inertia, the old coal plants provided this in spades with their huge boiler drums stored with steam energy sufficient to provide robust frequency response should a large generator fail and until standby plant could be bought into service. Wind mills have virtually no inherent inertia and are incapable of providing meaningful frequency response this is what caused the massive UK power cut during Aug 2019 when a large CCGT plant tripped, the wind farms could not respond the frequency dropped, followed by massive automated load shedding.

National Grid have been doing some clever stuff with demand side measures by paying large consumers to switch off and contracting some private emergency generators, they are also looking a battery storage systems, the problem being its all short term gap plugging and there is not nearly enough off it. It seems we are sleepwalking into another disaster that is completely avoidable.

Reply to  Greyleader2
November 29, 2020 11:35 am

“…..People, especially politicians and journalists has absolutely NO idea of how a balanced grid system works or the scale of numbers on this subject….”Neither do Biden, Kamala, Kerry, or AOC – Forget the Media!


Reply to  Greyleader2
November 30, 2020 4:43 am

Yip…. sooner or later (hopefully sooner) the waves of woke wishful thinking will crash against the rocks known as the laws of physics. Maybe when the lights start to go out, more of the general public will also start to take note.

In terms of watching what is going on, I think Gridwatch is a “must visit” – in fact, to tease my friends , I sometimes just post the daily percentage electric power from wind turbines….

Ralph Gardner
Reply to  Greyleader2
November 30, 2020 4:12 pm

They discovered an algae that can convert sunlight to useable energy at 95% efficiency, new solar panels are around 20%, and researchers around the world are working to copy the mechanism.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Greyleader2
November 30, 2020 5:36 pm

There was a report/complaint recently in the UK where a couple moaned about only achieving something like 200 mile range in their electric Porche (I kid you not) and their trip taking 9hrs longer than if they’d used a conventional vehicle. Their main gripe was the fact that the charging network, right now, can’t manage the demand for EV charging. My heart bleeds!

james fosser
Reply to  Ron Long
November 29, 2020 1:29 pm

Many of my genes were also from England but being a biotechnologist, I used Crisp-R technology to snip them all out (I now see the world with a Cartesian clarity and distinction).

Patrick MJD
November 29, 2020 2:39 am

Need to post the thread image from here;

The Guardian: Climate Activists Avoid or Regret Having Children

Peter W
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 29, 2020 2:54 pm

Which has the eventual advantage of fewer Climate Activists. Right on!

November 29, 2020 2:44 am

Some intelligent people get elected to parliament, every now and the, but they are quickly trained to be idiots in order to fit in.

Patrick MJD
November 29, 2020 2:45 am

I recall the power shortages and strikes in the UK in the 60’s/70’s. It was not fun. At least then we had domestic coal supplies and we had an open fire with a back-burner, so we had hot water in the frigid and cold 70’s winter mornings.

Julian Flood
November 29, 2020 2:55 am

Well, I hope this is a response to my heads up. I watched the synoptic charts from Monday and I told myself that Friday would be interesting. The failure of the interconnectors was telling — we’ve been told by the wind-power prophets that since Europe was all one big happy family we could share each other’s wind output and nothing could possibly go wrong. We dodged a bullet this time. Next time?

“We are governed by idiots.” Whang in the gold.

When he was Energy Minister Matt Hancock did not know that you have to use electricity as soon as it is generated or find a way to store it. First class PPE degree from Oxford, nice polite chap, overpromoted by several steps on the Peter Principle ladder. Now he’s Health Secretary.


Dave Ward
Reply to  Julian Flood
November 29, 2020 4:19 am

“Nice polite chap”

There’s nothing “nice or polite” about his arrogant, sneering manner these days. Having the brass necked gall to describe Prof Carl Heneghan of the Oxford University Centre for Evidence Based Medicine “An Outlier” is beyond disgusting.

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Dave Ward
November 29, 2020 6:49 am

Dave, Have you ever met Boris? I have and he is very polite. He is allowed his own opinion of Prof. Heneghan, whom I admire. You seem to think he should not be allowed to disagree with him. You seem to one of those who just shout arrogant fool at anyone who dares to disagree with your opinion

Dave Ward
Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
November 29, 2020 10:10 am

Who said anything about Boris? Julian Flood’s comment, and my reply, was referring to Matt Hancock – a “Health Secretary” who has no medical qualifications whatsoever:

“Hancock was born in Cheshire, where his family runs a software business. Hancock studied for a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Exeter College, Oxford, and an MPhil in Economics at Christ’s College, Cambridge, as a postgraduate student. He was an economist at the Bank of England before serving as a senior economic adviser and then later Chief of Staff to Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne” (Wiki)

That’s why I was scathing about him, although given his economics background you would like to think he was able to look beyond the number of deaths “With Covid” (which is an utterly meaningless statistic), and take into consideration the big picture.

“You seem to one of those who just shout arrogant fool at anyone who dares to disagree with your opinion”

For a senior government minister to casually dismiss a highly experienced scientist (one who deals with evidence, NOT the bogus modeling of Ferguson, Whitty & Vallance) would be bad enough if Hancock had any background in the subject. But since he doesn’t, and is clearly totally out of his depth, I make NO apology for laying into this so-called “Honorable Member” (House of Commons slang) – he’s nothing of the sort, and the sooner your friend Boris grows a spine, tells his fiancee to stop trying to run the country, and sacks Hancock, the better for all of us.

Rant Over…

Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
December 1, 2020 8:21 pm

Boris is very polite to anyone who has nothing to do with the activity in his underwear.
The long string of girls who tend to disagree with the “polite” version of “spoilt – lying” Bojo is far more eloquent testimony to reality.

Carl Friis-Hansen
November 29, 2020 3:00 am

Midday Sunday November 29th 2020:
Wind UK 2%
Wind DK 2%
The prehistoric saying: The wind always blows somewhere.
That may be true but let’s be honest, it will take a lot of effort to build that massive interconnection system worldwide. Building the giant pyramids in Giza or Chinese Wall would appear mediocre accomplishments compared this Green engineering task.
We need help from the people of Mars.

Climate believer
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 29, 2020 4:00 am

All of France’s windmills together, on this very typical Autumnal day, are producing 2.47 GW, 15% of installed capacity.

There is a 15 km/h North East wind blowing across most of the country.

Solar not faring much better, producing 3.88 GW with blue skies and sunshine pretty much everywhere, elevation of 24.2° at midday not helping much I would imagine.

Dave Ward
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 29, 2020 4:23 am

I downloaded a small CSV file from Gridwatch, and the lowest contribution I saw was a fraction over 1% of demand at 7:45AM on the 26th.

Julian Flood
Reply to  michel
November 29, 2020 4:08 am

There’s a better overview at


Reply to  Julian Flood
November 29, 2020 4:53 am

That is what I linked to.


Leo Smith
Reply to  michel
November 29, 2020 5:12 am

no, you didnt, Gridwatch.CO.UK is a commercial site trading on trademark infringing use of the Gridwatch name to sell advertising.

Reply to  Leo Smith
November 29, 2020 8:03 am

I linked to both. I linked to the site you and he are saying. And I also linked to the other one because it shows the wind performance bigger and clearer.

His link is https, and the one I cited is http. That is the only difference.

I think you are both saying that I should not have linked to the second one, is that what you mean? The first link is OK, but the second one not?

OK, but if that is what you mean, you should say so.

Alastair gray
November 29, 2020 3:05 am

Bojo is a cockstruck buffoon and he thinks whatever Carrie thinks and she is another climate Barbie.
Not sexist Carrie, It’s not what’s between your legs that gets the name . It’s what’s between your ears

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Alastair gray
November 29, 2020 10:17 am

I too could probably be convinced to be a Liberal Buffoon if ‘n Scarlett Johansson agreed to be my eager bedroom partner for a while. What I’m saying is the Greens in the UK figured out a way to control the male PM using very powerful natural forces while duping the people to think he’s a conservative.
Thus sort of thing goes back millennia in royalty and in Rome and how Kings and Cesars could be controlled by “persuasive” ladies of his court. Ladies cleverly put there by powerful people with hidden agendas.

November 29, 2020 3:15 am

And this is German wind and solar earlier this month

comment image

And earlier this year.

comment image

They really are a total WASTE of money and the environment.

Reply to  fred250
November 29, 2020 4:06 am

Well German renewables – which of course includes a large solar element and considerable biomass – is at over 50% of German electricity this year.

What you are all posting about here is an (increasingly rare) edge case for the overall UK power generation.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 4:51 am

Griff, you have misunderstood how electricity consumption work in the part of the world where You live.

Unlike major parts of Africa, we expects electricity 24/7/365.25
When relying on wind (and solar) solely, as being the Green intention, it is the min productivity that counts, not average or max.

Alone for this reason, wind and solar should have been overqualified a very, very long time ago, in places where sustainable (continuous) production facilities are possible.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 29, 2020 5:09 am

Not overqualified
But disqualified

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 29, 2020 9:36 am

Er, Carl – the “365.25” element should be “52”.

(Sorry, my chronic pedantry peaks before I get my morning coffee)

Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 4:52 am

No, griff. Look at the second link I posted, above. It shows what the performance of wind has been.

This is not a system that generates usable electricity supplies. No-one would buy contracts to deliver this amount of power with this level of fluctuation unless compelled to by law. Its totally useless. Its not a way of generating electricity at all.

When people claim that it supplies XGW over a year, what they are saying is that this was the total output over a year. Whether it was needed at the times that it was supplied, or not. Whether there was a shortfall where demand was not met, or not.

Leo Smith
Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 5:25 am

Oh dear. Poor old griff. Taken in again. Germany charges its consumers to generate wind energy that it practically gives away to other countries. Importing expensivce hydro when teh wind drops and te sun goes down.
The total of what it generates may well be 50% of germany’s demand, but it isn’t feeding Germany’s demand, at all. It allowing countries withg hydro to cut back on their non hydro power, as hydro is the only real renewable energy store there is.

And poor griff, focussing on the ‘renewable’ figures just like the people spoon feeding him green vomit, intend. The reality is that off ALL the EU nations, Germany is the largest emitter of CO2, by country, by inhabitant and by megawatt hour generated. That is why the EU law is framed in ‘renewable obligations’ and not in ‘carbon generated’.

You can always rely on Germany to cheat on emissions…

But by doing so in the end they expose the reality of renewable energy. It doesn’t reduce overall emissions worth a damn.

Why else is the law framed in terms of renewable obligations, rather than carbon dioxide emission reductions? The Greens Knew that.

Renewable energy from the start was never intended to reduce emissions, It was a way to use the Greens to leverage political power, to make money for crony capitalists and to further increase state control of the energy market and the populations.

And you griff, are just another useful idiot…

Reply to  Leo Smith
November 29, 2020 10:09 am

Far too kind to griff. He fails to learn despite all the kind help he gets…

Reply to  Leo Smith
November 29, 2020 12:34 pm

Sorry, Griff isn’t a useful idiot. He’s merely an idiot.

Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 5:57 am

What do you think is the percentage windpower disrltribution we had the last days because of wind lack ?
And same question for solar ?
Nearly null, zero, nada.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 7:02 am

In 2002 Germany had 115.15GW of installed generation ca[ability. In 2020 Germany has 213.7GW of installed generation. In 2002 about 102GW was not wind or solar. In 2020 about 99GW is not wind or solar. So what Germany has done is just added wind and solar but kept everything else in place, replacing some nuclear with fossil fuel.

What they’ve done is the equivalent of buying a car that only works when the sun is shing and the wind is blowing but kept their old reliable fossil fuel one for use most of the time. Neither cost effective nor environmentally friendly by any measure.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
November 29, 2020 7:20 am
Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 9:52 am

griff knows full well that Germany often runs more on lignite (dirty coal) during winter months than it does on solar and wind especially during calm periods which can last weeks. He knows that Germany’s grid only works (barely) because Germany expanded lignite power and relies on power imported from neighboring countries. He knows that Germany is one of the most polluting countries on Earth per capita when they run their lignite plants, yet he chooses to ignore that inconvenient fact. He knows that Germans pay more for their electricity than any other major country, as much as 3 times more. He has every bit of information he needs to know that Germany’s approach to energy has been an abject failure yet he still dishonestly touts them.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Meab
November 29, 2020 10:00 am

Jury is out on whether Griff is a paid shill of renewable energy companies or just plain stupid.

Reply to  Leo Smith
November 29, 2020 10:10 am


Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 10:20 am

You ALWAYS fail to consider the cost vs benefits side of these Green schemes in an analysis. Many working Germans can no longer afford their electricity. They are going though cold nights and hoping for Government assistance to get through and not have their electricity cut off.

Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 11:24 am

Are YOU prepared to turn off YOUR electricity when wind drops below a certain threshold.

Or are you still TOTALLY RELIANT on fossil fuels to cover the HUGE GAP that regularly occurs between supply from “UNRELIABLES” and demand.

I BET you aren’t.

You absolutely NEED that continuity of supply, don’t you grimm.

Reply to  fred250
November 30, 2020 4:29 am

Problem is, when we have built 100% backup for the unreliable wind, the question is bound to occur to us, what if we just built the backup, and dispensed with the wind?

Its really weird. Its doing the thing that actually produces the electricity, and doing something else irrelevant too, and then pretending its the second thing that is doing the work.

They are subsidy farms. But the rational economic solution would not be to pay people to put them up, but to pay them NOT to. It would be a lot cheaper, and produce exactly the same amount of usable electricity.

Alasdair Fairbairn
November 29, 2020 3:28 am

I keep a daily check on the wind contribution to my energy use. For the last 4 days the figures were: in KWatthrs; 1.7, 0.5, 0.6, and 1.0. From 25/11/20 to 28/11/20. Barely enough to boil my kettle.
The calculation is simple: multiply the total U.K. wind output in Gwatthrs by 0.0156 and you get the wind contribution to an individual’s energy daily use in Kwatthrs.
To date I have not considered the huge costs of this obsession with subsidies, grants and legislation and technical implementation on the back of the consumer and taxpayer; for It is complicated and mind boggling.

The conservatives really do need to wake of to reality in this context.

November 29, 2020 3:39 am

Griff why should we use unreliable sources of energy like solar and wind when we already have reliable sources of energy?

November 29, 2020 3:52 am

Number two on the chart, after combined cycle gas (59.5%), is safe, clean, reliable nuclear (14.7%).

Reply to  Speed
November 29, 2020 6:16 am

Clean, reliable nuclear?
clean whilst running but then
Decommissioning civil nuclear sites will take 120 years, MPs warn
According to a report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC), decommissioning the UK’s civil nuclear sites will cost £132bn of public money, and will not be completed for a further 120 years.

1 sites – 1GW – off line due to “micro” (2mm!) cracks in the graphite for 1.5 to 2 years. Hunterston B mow running until decommissioning.
1 site – 1GW – offline due to inspection of graphite for over 1 year (still offline until after winter peak demand) Dungeness B
1 site – 1GW – offline graphite inspection (still offline until after winter peak demand) Hinkley point.
1 reactor – 500MW – off line for “statutory outage” Heysham 1 estimated online in 7 days

Then of course there is the low load/offline refuelling at intervals

then of course you have to allow for cooling of offline reactors 2-40MW/reactor

During a storm Dungeness B was instantly removed from grid by downed EHV power lines breaking – That’s 1Gw lost instantly – caused no outages to rest of grid. But of course cooling required from diesel generators on site when main generators offlined.

I do not disagree that generating all power in uk from wind/solar/hydro will currently be a problem but storage is getting cheaper.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 29, 2020 8:05 am


Gag what planet are you on at the moment? Hydro constitutes 4.2% of the UK’s renewable energy generating capacity. It won’t get any larger.


On Golgafrincham, perhaps.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
November 29, 2020 3:52 am

Wind energy is a topic filled with”blowhards”. The key problem is that Mother Nature isn’t listening. (I don’t think she ever listens.)

November 29, 2020 3:53 am

The only way wind will be reliable is with massive banks of batteries, another environmental disaster in the watiing.

Loren C Wilson
Reply to  James
November 29, 2020 7:22 pm

And then one of those banks of batteries will short and catch fire. That will end our love affair with storing electricity in massive battery banks.

November 29, 2020 3:57 am

Wind droughts are less than rare…

Britain is experiencing a “wind drought” that has slowed or halted the blades on turbines around the country. July’s wind energy output so far is down 40 per cent when compared to the same period last year – despite more wind turbines having been installed in the interim, according to new figures.

The price of natural gas, which is being burned more to compensate for the lack of wind, has ticked up slightly.

Ireland is facing similar problems with a lack of wind…

The only difference now is the margin is much tighter.

Candles on standby and firewood chopped.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  fretslider
November 29, 2020 6:42 am

This is what the UK Met Office say about bocking weather bpatterns.

There are two types of blocks; an Omega Block and a Diffluent Block, and are most common in spring. Exceptionally they can persist for months around mid-summer, like in 1976, or mid-winter, like in 1963.

Weeks are not unusual

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
November 29, 2020 8:07 am

Weeks are not unusual

Indeed they aren’t, but power cuts will be – to begin with.

November 29, 2020 4:01 am
Reply to  Brian BAKER
November 29, 2020 9:45 am

Old Patsy is still good for a laugh it seems.

David Gradidge
November 29, 2020 4:02 am

At 12.36 on Nov27th we had wind at 0.55gw, solar at 1.86gw and coal at 2.79gw. incidentally wind on June 15th and 16th was as low as o.11gw. Today outside, not a breath.

November 29, 2020 4:04 am

Well, the UK has just 4 coal power stations left: all will be closed by 2024.

Last year they contributed just 2% of total UK electricity. They have been switched off for months over the summer.

You can look on this as a last hurrah, not some triumph.

Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 4:33 am

Electricity. You’ll miss it when its gone.

Climate believer
Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 29, 2020 7:43 am

How’s Datteln-4, that brand spanking new German Coal Plant going?

Apparently it runs on “blood coal”.

Germany has put more big coal and lignite power plants into operation in recent years than any other European country, why do Germans always say one thing then do the exact opposite?

Reply to  Climate believer
November 29, 2020 9:47 am

Goebels taught them well.

Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 7:20 am

This website suggests that there are currently 30 coal-fired power stations in Germany, including RWE’s lignite-fired Niederaussem plant, accounting for around a third of its electricity generation.
I read somewhere else that there are 40 partially or fully running.
France also relit 4 coal stations recently to cover the loss of a nuclear plant
The UK plants are not runing due to pricing strategy by the UK government and the bizarre
determination to decarbonise..

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 10:02 am

Griff, That’s a sign of folly not sense, something you’re going to dispense with is still needed and there’s burning wood which has been going pretty much full tilt most of the year, which is no better than coal and probably worse. You must be aware, as you quote numbers from somewhere, that for the last 3 or 4 days Gas plus nuclear have regularly been supplying in excess of 70% of demand. This morning the French and Dutch interconnectors were supplying 5 to 6 times as much as wind and solar. Coal is outperforming wind and solar as I type this.
What is so difficult to understand that in a prolonged period of low wind in northern Europe only countries that can supply 100% of peak winter demand will have enough electrical power to avoid blackouts. It doesn’t matter that for 4 months of low demand coal wasn’t needed if you don’t have enough in winter you can’t magic it back.

Reply to  griff
November 29, 2020 11:35 am

So, when wind drops to low levels.. where will that 7% of electricity that Coal provided , come from ?

I really hope that your area is one marked for “load-shedding” 😉

Might be the only way TRUTH could be forced into that tiny little half brain your collective shares.

November 29, 2020 4:18 am

And for next thousands years ???
Coal will not be available in the future …
This is a stupid analysis

Reply to  Hubert
November 29, 2020 8:14 am

But Nuclear will be. Coal will be needed for steel.

Useless solar and wind is just a waste of energy.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Hubert
November 29, 2020 8:46 am

There’s at least centuries of coal and more than enough natural gas to bridge us to a mostly nuclear future. Windmills and solar panels are worthless junk that will be expensive to dispose of and do a lot of harm to nature.

Reply to  Rich Davis
November 29, 2020 10:45 am

And don’t forget Methyl Hydrates. About 1000 years

Reply to  Hubert
November 30, 2020 1:46 am

You can always get enough carbon from limestone. You only need energy.

son of mulder
November 29, 2020 4:19 am

I fear this will only get addressed in the UK if we have a 4 week blocking high pressure area in January and end with rolling blackouts, deaths from the aged losing their heating etc.

Ian W
Reply to  son of mulder
November 29, 2020 5:23 am

Not long ago Excess Winter Deaths hit 50,000 due to the price of electricity and some severe and extended cold spells. The deaths were only mentioned in one Telegraph article; not a single politician was interested. Now a couple of hundred COVID deaths and they shut down the country.

Using smart meters the House of Commons and the Lords and their offices across the road could all be powered down whenever there is a power cut anywhere in the country. It should not be difficult using smart meters to extend that ‘power out in sympathy’ to all MP’s homes. That might attract their interest.

Reply to  Ian W
November 29, 2020 6:23 am

covid 19 deaths now 58,000 not “a couple of hundred COVID deaths”

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 29, 2020 7:12 am

We do not know!
Mortality as primary cause or with?
What is the current excess mortality?
I understand these figures censored, thus difficult to find.

The excess mortality due to expensive intermittent wind-electricity is occasionally bad now, but may be a disaster in the making.

Paul C
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2020 3:52 am

Not even necessarily on death certificate in England. Any death happening up to 28 days after a positive test is assumed to be COVID related, and the 28 day limit was an improvement. Prior to the the official numbers being discredited, there was NO time limit after a positive test. Anyone who had ever tested positive for SARS-COV-2 would count as a COVID death eventually.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 29, 2020 8:15 am

We can use the Ghalfrunt method of drinking bleach…Covid problem solved.

Reply to  Ian W
November 30, 2020 3:44 am

I Agree.
The best use for smart meters is to teach the idiots about unreliables.
Any consumer who signs up for a 100% ‘Green’ tariff, or organisation promoting a ‘renewables only’ policy, has to take a smart meter , and when the ‘green’ supply drops below demand
they start to get cut off, biggest consumer first.
That would be fun.

November 29, 2020 4:48 am

It’s a no brainer that clod still foggy days are going to be disasterous for energy harvesting systems that rely on wind and solar for their operation.
We really need to increase the energy storage capability to carry several days of energy to cover these lean periods.
Until this capacity is available, we just have to use fossil fuels to cover these gaps.
Saying coal outperforms wind is really nonsensical, it is a simple substitution.

Tom in Florida
November 29, 2020 4:50 am

In 1965 a young man named Donovan gave you all the advice you need about hopeless situations:
“Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.”

Leo Smith
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 29, 2020 5:27 am

And Robert Zimmerman, from a coal mining town, started the youth revolution with ‘the answer, is blowing in the wind’

One of the few times he got it wrong….

November 29, 2020 5:58 am

Wind power requires rare-earth neodymium magnets. These are mined in China. Take a look at the video below and tell me if the extraction of metals for “clean” power is really clean. Plus, where does the aluminum come from? It doesn’t fall from the sky.

Don Perry
Reply to  Wade
November 29, 2020 7:42 am

Or the concrete for the base of each. Where does the resin for the fiberglass blades come from and what is the environmental cost of their disposal when they are replaced?

Reply to  Wade
November 29, 2020 10:31 am

Certainly there’s some steel in the construction. Where does the carbon to alloy to the iron that makes steel come from? Used to come from metallurgical coal.

Bruce Cobb
November 29, 2020 6:27 am

It is as though at some point, humanity decided to board the CrazyStupid train, bound for WhoKnowsWhere, and WhoCares, owned and operated by deranged imbeciles, liars, and crooks.
I guess it could be funny, in a black humor sort of way. Logic and rationality has been upended, and is now lambasted and ridiculed. Wind and solar power never made any sense, and they never will. It is both hideously expensive and unreliable, putting the grid at risk of failing altogether, and the “problem” it is meant to “solve” is a total fanrasy and a Big Lie.
Decades hence, this time period will be viewed as a sort of Dark Age, as hopefully, rationality eventually regains its footing. Otherwise, we are lost.

Matthew Schilling
November 29, 2020 7:19 am

Nuclear and coal are listed above as the 2nd and 3rd biggest contributors to the pool of UK generated electricity. The adults calmly work while the children giggle and cry.

Al Miller
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
November 29, 2020 9:40 am


November 29, 2020 7:40 am

Just what the world needs for reliable, dependable power — weather-dependent power!

But wait. Didn’t power-production switch to fossil fuels a couple centuries ago to fix that?

November 29, 2020 8:21 am

Power is only valuable if it is available when you need it.
Having lots of power when you don’t need it, and no power when you do need is only good for propaganda.

November 29, 2020 8:22 am

I checked the Templar site regularly during last week. With practically no wind or solar generation and occasionally no input from France or Netherlands interconnectors either, the picture looked very iffy: biomass was almost maxed out, CCGT heading for the same territory, avalable nuclear was doing its steady best, the last surviving coal-fired stations had been switched in, pumped hydro was called up outside peak surge and even the reserve oil-fired units had been pressed into service, I wondered, what are all the ‘we’re 100% renewables’ supply companies sending their customers just now? And which appliances have their customers had the decency to switch off rather than contaminate their supergreen homes with gas/coal/oil generated supplies?
And all this on a few days when it was only cold enough to give a touch of ground frost across most of the country – heaven help us if it had been really wintry.

lee L
Reply to  Questing Vole
November 29, 2020 11:11 am

“biomass was almost maxed ”

Rev up the chainsaws on the eastern seaboard and top up the bunker C floating barges!
I believe one of the ships is named “FOREST MOWER”


Reply to  Questing Vole
November 30, 2020 12:48 am

And if you look at last week against the whole of this and last year it stands out as distinct from the rest of the last 2 years, doesn’t it?

Al Miller
November 29, 2020 9:39 am

Wind itself is wonderful.
Harnessing it it for dispatchable power is a complete joke and seems to do everything a real environmentalist would rail against meaning killing all things flying, ruining landscapes, creating enormous ruin zones for the footings power lines and service roads. It needs enormous fossil fuel inputs to begin and of course add the rare earth element and all of the problems with it. Then there is the whole aspect of people being driven back into the dark ages on the phoney pretext that man made CO2 is a harmful substance.
This is nothing more than a farcical political play and until the general populace wakes up to it we are going to continue wasting enormous energy creating a dysfunctional system whilst ignoring many real world problems that could actually be be solved and eliminated. I truly fear my children will have to go to war to return sanity to the world.

November 29, 2020 10:59 am

Thank you Charles for this post. Since a link to the G.B. National Grid Status by Elexon portal and Sheffield Uni was posted on WUWT earlier this month I’ve been quite regularly following power consumption and production of same in GB. I was born in London but have spent nearly my entire life in Canada where we also have a push for windmills although we’ve not (as yet) tried installing the numbers that GB has.

I was aghast the other day (Nov. 26 at 16:16 GMT) that the wind was only producing .82GW or 2% of the 41GW demand. Coal was producing 3% and CCGT over 58%. Isn’t the current wind installation designed to produce up to 15GW?

Reply to  Tomsa
November 30, 2020 12:47 am

You’ve cherry picked the worse case there.

If you look at gridwatch you’ll see we went for months over the summer without using coal at all – a record number of days. And there are multiple days on which wind was 3 times the gas power stations.

Paul C
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2020 4:03 am

The worst case IS the problem. If you can’t rely on generation from whirlygigs, you need to have real power stations on hot standby to maintain the grid. If you have built a reliable, efficient power station, and are burning fuel in it, it is better to have it generating power for the grid, rather than disconnecting it each time wind can produce intermittent power.

Reply to  griff
November 30, 2020 4:55 am

And where was the money to come from to pay for this massive investment in wind turbines? Greenpeace had no doubts about that.
“John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace, said that the plans amounted to a “wind energy revolution” but said premium prices had to be guaranteed for clean electricity.” (Guardian article)
Don’t you just love that term ‘premium prices’?
It’s so nice when folks are completely honest and use plain words that are immediately understandable. So to put Mr Sauven’s words into plain English: “Greenpeace wants the government to force electricity companies to charge very high prices for electricity produced using wind energy. These very high prices would, of course, significantkly increase the problem of fuel poverty and force many people on low incomes to cut back on heating their homes. However, we at Greenpeace don’t care a hoot about that because we all get nice big salaries.”

Reply to  griff
November 30, 2020 5:01 am

Sounds like you’re doing a certain amount of cherry-picking yourself. How much do people need to heat their homes in the summer?

Reply to  griff
December 1, 2020 9:45 pm

Griff has one dystopian post after another…

Doesn’t it occur to him in a typical German summer (I have lived there!), there is little fog (nebel is the bane of German life in winter months)…

The German summer is long and hot, and geographically relatively favourable warmth in autumn and spring.

There is only one problem, the winter months with the unbearable FOG are usually wind free, freezing cold, and no sun beaming thru to those 1000s of kms of solar panels, when you need a maximum amount of energy to keep warm.

The summer months when all this much hyped wind and solar, are when you literally don’t need it for anything particularly socially useful, so they subsidise it and export it to other people who can’t do much with it either.

Supply and demand dictates, you lose money hand over fist on expensive “alternative”energy when the prices are low, then import the stuff at highest price when the demand is highest.

All this means the entire system is based on the most incompetent economic analysis known to man, – thus raising prices to the consumer who has to be milked to finance it all.

This is nothing to do with cherry picking, it’s to do with conning the German consumer at prices which could much more easily be halved.
All this is now well known in Germany, but until Merckel is gone, all the greenies are talking utter drivel and/or in denial.

Mike Lowe
November 29, 2020 11:05 am

Maybe we skeptics could contribute towards a scheme to send Bojo on a sailing course? That certainly makes a sailor aware of the variability of wind (which comparatively rarely seems to be just what is needed), and the unreliability of sunlight which sometimes fries yet is often non-existent.
Better send Carrie too – maybe on a one-way ticket! And preferably accompanied by our socialist NZ Prime Minister Cindy Ardern.

Bruce Cobb
November 29, 2020 1:27 pm

For price and reliability, coal not only outperforms wind, but wind isn’t even in the same ballpark.

Pat from kerbob
November 29, 2020 8:32 pm

So much scam everywhere
My latest electricity bill here in calgary:
Sept 23-oct 25
1013kwhr consumption
$63 worth of power
Then list starts of charges
Final Bill $163

Gas for same period

Final Bill including $9 of carbon tax

November 30, 2020 3:54 am

When the supply is marginal smart meters come into their own: demand management, one consumer at a time.
If only some are cut off, people are left wondering what happened as their neighbours are still OK.
Without that ability, the grid would have to cut off whole districts. People would then talk to each other and get a clear signal that there’s a supply problem.
So the policy is divide and conquer.
Of course, there’s also the opportunity for stiffing the customer.
“I’m sorry Madam, but did you not read para 13.11.2(b) in the supply agreement?
If you want a reliable supply you can sign up for the Platinum Plus Premium tariff.
It’s only an extra £25 a month………”

November 30, 2020 11:33 am

Very interesting – as I say, “You get what or who you vote for!” If you vote for ignorant people or stupidity, you’ll likely get harm or stupidity in return. Personally…I have little sympathy for left-wing ignorance. For 27 years, I’ve lived with a team in many countries and climates with a ruck on my back and M16; no sleeping bags for comfort, sleeping on Mother Earth and hearing her heart beat, eating what we could forage at times, using iodine tabs to purify water. Maybe some suffering is in order this winter, just like your ancestors lived and died in extreme cold, harsh weather in “The Little Ice Age.” This winter is destined to exceed all expectations for exactly that – cold, freezing ice, snow, and harsh winds. Wind mills and solar don’t function too well in that kind of weather. All ocean wind mills will likely have serious problems, and solar usually requires the sun! It’ll be survival of the fittest and those who live, and they’ll be a hardy bunch! Exactly as Mother Nature works! Lol

Ralph Gardner
November 30, 2020 4:15 pm

They discovered an algae that can convert sunlight to useable energy at 95% efficiency, new solar panels are around 20%, and researchers around the world are working to copy the mechanism.

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