Britain forced to fire up coal plant amid record power prices and winter squeeze

Reposted from NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

SEPTEMBER 6, 2021

By Paul Homewood

h/t Ian Magness

Young Rachel seems surprised!!

image

The UK has turned to a coal-fired power station to help boost its energy supply after global gas and power prices hit new highs and wind farms produced very low levels of electricity.

National Grid ESO, which balances Britain’s electricity supply and demand, asked EDF to fire up two units at its West Burton A power station in Lincolnshire. They had previously been on standby.

The Government plans to phase-out coal-fired power by 2024 in an effort to slash carbon emissions. Most coal-fired power stations have closed, but some remain available to help meet demand – particularly in emergencies.

Wind power now generates about 20pc of UK electricity across the year but varies hugely day by day. On Monday morning, output fell to 474 megawatts compared to a record 14,286 megawatts on May 21, Bloomberg said.

At 11am on Monday morning, coal was providing 3.9pc of Britain’s power mix; 47pc from gas; 1.9pc from wind; and 11.4pc from solar panels.

It comes as gas, which produces more than 35pc of UK electricity across the year, trades at more than three times normal rates amid a global supply crunch.

Many countries have been replacing coal-fired power stations with gas-fired alternatives, which produce less carbon emissions, but the high price of gas is making coal more appealing again.

High carbon charges on coal in Europe have been one reason for the high gas price, pushing up demand for gas by making coal more expensive.

National Grid ESO warned in July that Britain needed to prepare for a squeeze on energy supplies this winter as two nuclear plants shut down and workers return to the office.

The Hunterston B and Dungeness B nuclear stations are both due to shut within months, taking away a stable energy source at a time when unpredictable wind and solar generation is an increasingly part of the country’s power mix.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/09/06/britain-forced-fire-coal-plant-amid-record-power-prices/

Don’t worry! We’ll soon have all of that lovely hydrogen. What could possibly go wrong?

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GregK
September 8, 2021 2:07 am

Import more woodchips or maybe peat.

If the Chinese could have mini-blast furnaces in every backyard during the Great Leap Forward perhaps a mini-woodchip burning power station in every back yard in the UK is the answer.

Reply to  GregK
September 8, 2021 2:16 am

The steel was mostly only fit to melt down to recycle from proper steel plants but it consumed vast areas of forests, a lot of essential tools and rural manpower that should have been working in the fields. 30 or 40 million starved to death.
The green energy revolution could have a similar effect if the developing nations take it on, which they almost certainly will not.

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Rafe Champion
September 8, 2021 9:03 am

True. I recommend the book: The New Emperors: China in the Era of Mao and Deng by Harrison E. Salisbury, 1991, to learn about the formative history of the PRC through the cold war.

Lorra
Reply to  Bill Rocks
September 8, 2021 5:00 pm

I get paid more than $90 to $100 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this I have earned easily $10k from this without having online working skills . Simply give it a shot on the accompanying site…http://www.top6jobs.com

Last edited 12 days ago by Lorra
Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Rafe Champion
September 8, 2021 2:41 pm

This is precisely why I refer to the so-called plan as the “Green Leap Forward”.

James Snook
Reply to  Rafe Champion
September 14, 2021 11:57 pm

Mao’s stayed objective of the programme was for China to exceed the steel output of the UK. How times have changed.

Now we can barely keep our lights on!

LdB
Reply to  GregK
September 8, 2021 2:47 am

Yeah Brazil could cut down the amazon and ship to UK to help out 🙂

griff
Reply to  GregK
September 8, 2021 3:40 am

Indeed, in those places where woodland coppicing takes place, a sensible option, though more for heat than power.

Then there are all the breweries, distilleries and food processing plants using anaerobic digesters, the many small hydro plants (which don’t require dams) and of course solar PV.

Very many local power options being taken up in UK.

Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:00 am

Solar power is useless in winter in Britain. The capacity factor for Scotland’s solar power plants in winter is just 1%. Since power demand peaks in Britain in winter, this demonstrates how useless solar power actually is in Britain. The local power options you are talking about are of no significance for Britain as a whole. The only reliable power options which are of any use going forward in Britain are nuclear and gas and coal.

Last edited 13 days ago by Bill Toland
Thomas E.
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 7:37 am

And nuclear.

I know third rail solution, but it’s there.

Reply to  Thomas E.
September 8, 2021 12:52 pm

Already included:

The only reliable power options which are of any use going forward in Britain are nuclear and gas and coal.”

michael hart
Reply to  ATheoK
September 9, 2021 8:46 am

I think nuclear is worth saying more than twice.

rbabcock
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:15 am

Very many local power options being taken up in UK.”

That’s a good thing because the way things are going, you aren’t going to get any from the grid.

DonM
Reply to  rbabcock
September 8, 2021 7:48 am

One of the ” … many local power options being taken up in UK” is the restarting of the coal power plants.

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:36 am

“Very many local power options being taken up in UK.” Such stoicism in the face of looming hardship is noble, but a more effective response is “Comrades…do you know who is responsible for this? TRUMP!”.

Sara
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:38 am

Griffypoo, are you going to start generating your VERY OWN electricity? If you do, please send photos. Whatever dream world you are living in seems to be piled high with your comic book collection and coloring books. The “Swiss Family Robinson” had more practicality in it than what you’ve posted this time.

Geeao Pete, do you really think before you post something? You seem to have no understanding of how power plants distribute electricity. I suggest you buy a few oil lamps and some lamp oil and a camp stove for this winter, which appers to be piling up to be fierce where I live.

I”m really concerned about you, Griffypoo. Are you getting enough vitamins?

Abolition Man
Reply to  Sara
September 8, 2021 5:36 am

The griffter doesn’t take vitamins any longer, as they are now known to be used by vets for horses and other livestock! Anything that is used in the veterinary medicine arena must be unfit for human consumption; like food and water!

Tekov Yahoser
Reply to  Abolition Man
September 8, 2021 7:41 am

Right-wing anti-vaxxers consume vast quantities of the deadly compound, dihydrogen-monoxide! For the good of humanity, it needs to be banned!

Nick Graves
Reply to  Tekov Yahoser
September 8, 2021 8:12 am

I’m developing oxygen dihydride as a safer alternative.

Can I have a grant and emergency use authorisation?

Sara
Reply to  Abolition Man
September 8, 2021 9:21 am

Have any of youse guys tried hydrogen hydroxide?

It’s particularly good with crushed ice and a mint leaf stuck on the glass.

Reply to  Sara
September 8, 2021 12:59 pm

A little ethanol goes a long way for antibiotic purposes.

Reply to  Sara
September 8, 2021 12:57 pm

Griffypoo, are you going to start generating your VERY OWN electricity?”

Visions of a giffiepoo with a black wire (negative) connected to it’s left ear and a black wire (negative) connected to it’s right ear…

Uh, where is the red wire connected? Can’t be a public place…

MarkW2
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:41 am

We live in an area with a lot of anaerobic digestors and they’re EXTREMELY unpopular, though one hopes they’ll improve over time. Some local farms are putting animal waste to good use, which does make sense.

But — and it’s a very large “but” — these are minor contributions to the UK’s energy needs. The plain truth is that if the UK is going to rely more and more on renewables it’s going to have to turn to nuclear for back-up in the long run; and, of course, the environmentalists are against this.

What’s now happening in the UK was easy to predict. It doesn’t need Einstein to see that natural gas prices are going to be hiked as Europe becomes increasingly dependent on Russian gas. Add massively rising energy prices to Boris’s new social care/NHS taxation and the UK population’s in for a tough time. The only saving grace for the Tories is that everything they’re doing mirrors what the left-wing parties would also do, which is clearly the gamble that Boris is taking.

Either way, net-zero is going to be calamitous for the UK economy while doing net zero to reduce so-called climate change.

JamesD
Reply to  MarkW2
September 8, 2021 7:23 am

Animal waste belongs on the fields. It builds topsoil.

Also, coal and nukes are horrible back up solutions. They are good for base load.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  JamesD
September 8, 2021 11:06 am

And using them for base load, as they should be, means you could just dispense with…renewables, which are good for nothing.

Iain Reid
Reply to  JamesD
September 8, 2021 11:28 pm

James,
coal and nuclear are not the same. Nuclear runs at maximum generally and is inflexible, coal is flexible and can be used for balancing.

I see opinions that coal is inflexible but I don’t know where the idea came from. The steam input to the turbine is variable and the coal input to the boilers is variable. What they cannot do, and in common with all large thermal plants is being switched off and on, they take time to cool down and time to warm up.

MarkW
Reply to  Iain Reid
September 9, 2021 6:46 am

Nuclear is run as baseload, because that’s what it has been designed to do. Nuclear can be flexible as well, witness the power plants that run submarines and aircraft carriers.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:44 am

Yes because due to their policies, power costs way more than it needs to. This makes a lot of expensive options viable, just like California. What do you do to have stable power since you appear to live in the UK?

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:47 am

Do you even have a clue what it means to coppice a woodland? How much fuel do you think is generated by this practice?

John H
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 8, 2021 7:53 am

Looked into it as I have 2 fields, using willow on a 4 year coppice cycle 16 acres will heat one house. Still need more land to generate the electricity.

Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 8, 2021 1:11 pm

coppice verb

coppicedcoppicing

Definition of coppice (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

to cut back so as to regrow in the form of a coppice

Coppice noun

grow from suckers

Suckers don’t grow into large trees easily. Their trunks remain spindly for a long period of time.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  ATheoK
September 8, 2021 3:27 pm

Not a wonderful source of firewood but then you don’t have to split it either, just prune to stove-sized lengths.

Bill Powers
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:02 am

Where is all that global warming that necessitated this kerfuffle to begin with?

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Bill Powers
September 8, 2021 12:10 pm

Twas climate cycles that later got airbrushed.

michel
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:11 am

Coppicing was and is an excellent way to manage willows in particular. Not however for fuel, for that it is useless, and it wasn’t used for that. What its good for is fast growing, long, straight, quite strong shoots which can be used for tool handles or woven fencing.

As usual Griff is not offering any numbers. The slightest inquiry would show that coppicing just can’t generate enough heat or power to make any difference. It had its role in a labour intensive agriculture in the 19th and early 20th centuries – probably before that too, though the open field system would have limited its applicability.

The idea that it can be used to generate electricity is ludicrous. I am starting to think increasingly of Griff as pure troll.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  michel
September 8, 2021 8:37 am

Yes, it was great for accumulating enough withes for making sheep hurdles and one of the ways the New Forest was utilized for centuries. Charcoal making too, I believe.

Griff loves to spout nonsense then vanish back into his cave.

bill Johnston
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 8, 2021 10:50 am

But just look how much intelligent, fact-based information is produced when refuting and chastising his comments. Sort of a devil’s advocate stance.

Mason
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 8, 2021 11:24 am

I assume you mean his parent’s basement when you say cave?

ResourceGuy
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 6:55 am

Behind the curtain you have politically connected investors in pellet mill projects in the U.S. getting tax incentives for pellet projects in order to ship and burn the pellets in the UK for more tax credits on the burn side of the venture. If enough tax incentives are stacked up you could burn down all the world’s forests in the great renewable energy tulip scheme.

Graemethecat
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 6:59 am

It’s early morning in Winter 2025, and there is thick snow on the ground. Griff wakes up in a freezing cold, dark house. Unconsciously, and reflexively, he reaches to switch on the light, but nothing happens of course. He dresses himself hurriedly and stumps out into the snow, legs stiff with cold, to gather a bundle of willow coppices to light and heat his hovel, reflecting bitterly on how comfortable and easy life was when fossil fuels were still permitted.

To be continued...

Graemethecat
Reply to  Graemethecat
September 8, 2021 12:18 pm

As Chief Environmental Correspondent at The Guardian, Griff needs to take his copy denouncing the evils of fossil fuels physically to the newspaper (No electricity -> no email). Wearily, he saddles up his faithful donkey and plods forth on rutted, muddy roads to the headquarters. He can’t believe his luck – the building is illuminated! They have electricity! A warm office, a computer, the Internet! Excitedly, he ties up his donkey in the company stables, gets into the lift, and presses the button for the seventh floor. Halfway between floor four and floor five, the lift suddenly stops and the lights go out….

MarkW
Reply to  Graemethecat
September 9, 2021 6:50 am

Actually, griff is met at the door by one of the office assistants, who takes his papers and tells him to go home. Light and heat are for those run society, not the likes of him.

JamesD
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 7:20 am

If only some elites could let the stupid Brits know that they have some great options instead of those nasty coal plants.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  JamesD
September 8, 2021 8:41 am

But are those options green?

Last edited 12 days ago by Pamela Matlack-Klein
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  JamesD
September 8, 2021 11:10 am

You mean like the ones that go them into this electricity that can’t be relied upon and is not affordable to begin with?! LOL.

John H
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 7:51 am

Its takes 16 acres of land to coppice enough wood to heat one house, so do the maths. How much land needed to heat one hi rise block of flats.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  John H
September 8, 2021 8:42 am

Alas, it takes four years to grow the willow into a pile large enough to heat one house. Land must also be allotted for the storage of the willow withes so they can be kept dry until needed for heat.

Graemethecat
Reply to  John H
September 8, 2021 9:00 am

Like all Green idiots, Griff doesn’t “do” Mathematics, or even Arithmetic.

Reply to  John H
September 8, 2021 9:54 pm

Now that’s a really silly question. Everyone knows heat rises, so only heat the bottom unit, and as that heat rises through the next 8 floors above, they are thus all heated too.

So, it still only takes the original 16 acres using Green math. Yours is a trick question.

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 8:18 am

Coal is King, all your greentardedness can’t change reality.

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 12:51 pm

Totally delusional, spewing alarmist fanatsy misinformation.

Scissor
Reply to  GregK
September 8, 2021 4:14 am

Kill the sparrows.

n.n
Reply to  Scissor
September 8, 2021 4:39 am

One step forward, two steps backward to Aztec sacrificial rites and Roman gauntlets for human and sparrow lives that matter. Progress is a many wicked thing.

n.n
Reply to  GregK
September 8, 2021 4:34 am

Fetal chips… progress with a liberal orientation.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  GregK
September 8, 2021 7:02 am

I’m waiting for the inevitable post that modular MSRs will solve this problem . . . after all, they’re “just around the corner”.

One in every back yard . . . yeah, that’s the ticket!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 8, 2021 11:59 am

I’d love to have a small nuclear reactor to power my home. Electricity that never goes out and isn’t dependent on wires on poles which are vulnerable to heavy snows, ice, high winds, and the occasional idiot who can’t keep his car on the road. It could probably provide sufficient heat for winter as well.

What’s not to like?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  GregK
September 8, 2021 10:59 am

Wait till you see the air quality that results from that! Coal will be looking extremely clean again. But then again, when the government does everything it can to make energy unreliable and unaffordable, you do what you must.

Reply to  GregK
September 8, 2021 12:49 pm

Can’t everyone built furnaces, smelters and sand cast iron molds?
Oil fired furnace:
Iron melting cupola furnace:
Sand preparation Muller for cast iron molds:

Greg
Reply to  GregK
September 8, 2021 9:51 pm

Today I saw sacks of wood pellets for domestic heating at the supermarket. The packaging declared that it was dried without the use of fossil fuels.

They do not explain how they achieve that.

September 8, 2021 2:10 am

South Australia and Victoria are the leading lemmings of wind power in Australia and the failure of the venture is demonstrated whenever the windmills are generating less than their average capacity (29% of nameplate in Australia).

Demand for power is low on the weekend but at breakfast time last Sunday both SA and Victoria were importing coal and hydro power from other states.

https://newcatallaxy.blog/2021/09/06/wind-power-fails-in-sa-victoria/

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rafe Champion
September 8, 2021 7:42 am

I see a trainwreck coming.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Rafe Champion
September 8, 2021 5:57 pm

G’Day Rafe,

Further to your comment:

I had a look at the AEMO | NEM Data Dashboard at 0850 September 9, 2021, Australian time.

All five States had negative price figures!! First time I’ve ever seen that.

According to the the “Fuel Mix” page, coal, black and brown, was providing over 50% of the power.

September 8, 2021 2:10 am

“What could possibly go wrong?” ….You mean like the Hindenburg?

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
September 8, 2021 4:06 am

He means boom.

n.n
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
September 8, 2021 4:42 am

Decapitation. Conflagration. At best, hypothermia or hyperthermia waiting for the renewables to return to a viable range.

H B
September 8, 2021 2:13 am

Not even winter yet, Come COP time will we see rolling blackouts and every coal plant in the country going full throttle

Duker
Reply to  H B
September 8, 2021 2:21 am

Im thinking that too….like the ship of fools that get stuck in the ice..in summer. The COP in winter will find that grid reliability isn’t an aspiration

Mr.
Reply to  Duker
September 8, 2021 9:01 am

Well as the CoP attendees exempt themselves from power usage restrictions as usual, look for the caravans of mobile diesel generators parked behind the conference center.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Mr.
September 8, 2021 12:07 pm

The local climate realists should make sure the fuel tanks are empty so they can experience the true result of their proposed madness.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  H B
September 8, 2021 2:35 am

That is if COP 26 even happens. At the rate things are going right now, we might well see a new Covid variant that comes along just in time to give a face-saving excuse for canceling this exercise in futility.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 8, 2021 4:41 am

In the U.S.,there is a variant called the mid-term variant which will come out around August 2022.

n.n
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 8, 2021 4:47 am

Waiting for omega…

Leo Smith
Reply to  H B
September 8, 2021 2:37 am

I think that what may be happening – as the OCGT sets were also fired up – is that kit is being tested and made ready.

Now that lockdown is over, fuel consumption is rocketing. As are prices.

Rusty
Reply to  Leo Smith
September 8, 2021 3:26 am

OCGT were fired up when the UK had temperatures greater than 25°C….

griff
Reply to  H B
September 8, 2021 3:38 am

all 3 of them?

Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:03 am

Griff, that is precisely the problem. There aren’t enough of them.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:59 am

I wish it was 10 (or more!) of them.

pHil R
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 7:41 am

Grifff,

Curious question, why are you here? Seriously, why are you here? Why do you come here to comment? All you do is provide imbecilic, infantile drive-by’s but don’t add anything to the conversation. It’s obvious that even when you try to provide supporting links that you generally either don’t read them or don’t understand them, because they generally say the exact opposite of whatever point you are trying to make.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  pHil R
September 10, 2021 8:59 am

It’s a job with good pay and benefits.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  H B
September 8, 2021 6:57 am
JamesD
Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 8, 2021 7:29 am

10 years of cold for Europe.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 8, 2021 2:20 pm

Looks like solarscience hasn’t been updated for over a year.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  ATheoK
September 10, 2021 8:58 am

It’s the multi-cycle pattern that counts in this case.

Graemethecat
Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 8, 2021 9:02 am

More inconvenient data for the Alarmists.

Reply to  Graemethecat
September 8, 2021 2:22 pm

Except for their faked data, all the alarmists have is inconvenient data.

Anthony
September 8, 2021 2:17 am

What it also really shows, is that fuel inflation is taking off which always leads to even bigger inflation in any economy. If the Northern world has a cold winter then, bang

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Anthony
September 8, 2021 7:47 am

It’s not a question of “if”, but “when”.

There is increasing scientific evidence (i.e., the increasing number of measured “global warming” pauses as well as increasing severity of cold and winter episodes) plus the mathematical overlaying of various established natural cycles—from multi-decadal cycles in ocean circulation/temperature patterns to long term solar cycles to Milankovitch cycles of Earth’s orbital ephemeris—that combine to say Earth is on the cusp of entering a long-term cooling interval, potentially of the severity of the “Little Ice Age” that occurred from the 16th to 19th centuries.

There will come a time when AGW/CAGW alarmists rue the day they advocated stopping “global warming”.

pigs_in_space
Reply to  Anthony
September 9, 2021 2:20 am

And next big bang will be 2008 banking crisis take 2.
None of the banks will trust each other as/when the current asset bubbles collapse.
Overheating economies are always happening just before a spectacular overleveraged banking crash, usually triggered by an unexpected event.

In this case it can be runaway energy price inflation which suddenly reduces market demand, while substantially increasing production costs due to a cold winter.

Charles Fairbairn
September 8, 2021 2:20 am

I have just subscribed to a two year fixed price tariff with Octopus. It has resulted in a doubling of my direct debit contribution and is a bet and we’ll see how it works out. It seems that Octopus knows what is likely to happen here with current stupid energy policies. I just hope they are wrong; but not sure at the moment which way that will be.

griff
Reply to  Charles Fairbairn
September 8, 2021 3:37 am

your tariff reflects the recent gas price rise and change to UK energy cap

Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 2:25 am

Most of Britain’s nuclear power stations are due to close in the next decade. Given Britain’s current path on power generation, this means that massive regular power cuts are now inevitable. If a still cold snap hits Britain this winter, we will be right on the brink of power cuts. We have virtually no spare capacity now. The only way to keep the lights on in the next few years is to build a dozen gas or coal fired power stations, starting immediately. But will the green halfwits in the government see sense? They just don’t seem to realise the seriousness of the situation.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 2:35 am

This winter will be tight if it’s cold and calm.

There are small signs – like this, plus the debate about opening a new coal mine, that show that common sense is starting to break through ideological turbity.

Several trees fell over last year. My wood store is full…

Mark
Reply to  Leo Smith
September 8, 2021 2:41 am

Agreed . I have always said that the worst excesses of the eco-lunacy won’t happen, because sooner rather than later the laws of physics and thermodynamics will hit policy makers over the head…..

Voters will forgive and forget many things….

But shivering through a cold winter in the dark will not be one of them…

griff
Reply to  Mark
September 8, 2021 3:37 am

I recall that was supposed to happen in Germany this last winter, according to Watts… and didn’t.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:30 am

Bailed out by gas and new lignite burning plants.the Energiewende has resulted in an increased carbon footprint, instead of a smaller one.

Mr.
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 8, 2021 9:08 am

Like most socialist “cunning plans”, the actual outcomes are usually exactly the opposite of what they set out to achieve.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:49 am

When griff has nothing, he has to resort to lies.
Nobody said that the German grid would definitely fail last winter. What was said was that the German grid was getting fragile and that failures were becoming much more likely.
As griff rightly pointed out last year, the German grid is tied to the EU grid, and that is what keeps the German grid from failing routinely.
Thankfully those French nukes and Polish coal plants are keeping Germans warm. At a huge profit for the French and Poles.

JamesD
Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2021 7:31 am

There’s a reason they are completing that huge gas pipeline from Russia.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2021 12:17 pm

Yes, but aren’t the French talking about shutting down their nuke plants? That will be the domino that brings the whole rotten thing down…

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
September 8, 2021 2:42 pm

Tough to know. Macron says all kinds of things when he’s under pressure.
Which is all of the time.

pigs_in_space
Reply to  MarkW
September 9, 2021 2:24 am

“what keeps the German grid from failing routinely.”,

…..is paying others to supply them with energy at premiums of up to 400% over cost, when they can’t supply their own, thanks to that windless winter fog which envelops most of Germany for 1-2months a year.

been there, done that, seen the vid, struggled with the NEBEL!

Meab
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 1:10 pm

griffter, you’ve been schooled on this before. Do you have Alzheimer’s? Germany gets much of its power during in the winter from lignite, dirty coal – most of its power during calm periods when Germany produces more CO2 per capita than almost all other countries. That’s a good thing, much better than freezing in the dark.

Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 2:40 pm

according to Watts…”

No quote with a link to the exchange?
No link to the conversation?
No link to the main article?

Which indicates giffiepoo is lying through it’s mandibles.

Pathetic liar, as usual.

Iain Reid
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 11:37 pm

Griff,

it wasn’t supposed to happen, it was a possibility, not the same thing. They have, however been on the brink many times and that is with all the grid connections to their neighbouring countries.
The U.K. is getting closer and closer to power cuts despite what assurances National Grid make.

MarkW
Reply to  Iain Reid
September 9, 2021 6:54 am

Remember, griff believes that a press release about a company’s plans means it’s already happened.

saveenergy
Reply to  Leo Smith
September 8, 2021 5:22 am

The new coal mine in Cumbria is for ‘metallurgical coal’ used in the production of high grade steels (& solar panels) so most will be exported.
It is not a thermal coal as used in power stations.

But the thickos who oppose the mine (cos its coal ) are the same ones who want more windmills & solar panels.

“think about how stupid the average person is and then realize that half of them are stupider than that” … George Carlin

griff
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 3:36 am

There will never be another coal plant built in UK or EU – there are now NONE in the planning stages… and I think the last few have completed build.

Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:05 am

That is the problem. Griff, you seem quite happy at the prospect of power cuts coming to Britain. You are in complete denial of what that is going to mean.

Last edited 13 days ago by Bill Toland
Derg
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:43 am

That is sad. Coal is a wonderful source of energy.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:02 am

Meanwhile, the Chinese are building loads of them, and laughing at the West at the same time.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:51 am

Never is a long time griffie poo.
Once blackouts start to become routine, the eagerness to keep building bird choppers will dwindle.

Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2021 2:45 pm

10 seconds of attention span is a long time to giffiepoo.

Jo Ho
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 10:14 am

Combined Heat and Power. Burn our millions of tons of rubbish to, firstly, get rid of stinking tips. Secondly – generate electricity and finally provide hot water to towns (and/or new super ginormous greenhouses to provide fruit and vegetables all year round, especially should Earth go back to another LIA).

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jo Ho
September 8, 2021 1:51 pm

Combined Heat and Power. Burn our millions of tons of rubbish to, firstly, get rid of stinking tips. Secondly – generate electricity and finally provide hot water to towns

I already do this in Austria, and have done so for decades. I believe other countries too.

Last edited 12 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jo Ho
September 8, 2021 2:56 pm

and/or new super ginormous greenhouses to provide fruit and vegetables all year round”

Apparently you do not understand how greenhouses work.

In summer, they get too hot and must be cooled.
Fortunately, swamp coolers usually reduce the temperature enough and they humidify the air.

In winter, Greenhouses get too cold and must be heated.

One commercial grower gave a presentation and when he put up a winter picture where condensation ran down the glass said, “Those drops of water represent ground up and burned dollar bills”.

Then there is the issue of plants not growing well in weak sunlight, especially weak sunlight before the winter solstice.
Many fruits will not bear or ripen before the summer solstice.

Which means growers use grow lights and more electricity or they grow a few day neutral plants and brassica relatives.

pigs_in_space
Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 2:34 am

“There will never be another coal plant built in UK or EU”
Griff the nutter strikes again!

How long are you planning to live out your miserable lying existence until proved wrong?

There are 400yrs of coal under the UK.
It’s only a question of time before it once again becomes economically viable to extract.

Disputin
September 8, 2021 2:47 am

We’ll soon have all of that lovely hydrogen. What could possibly go wrong?

KABOOOOOOM!

Philo
Reply to  Disputin
September 8, 2021 7:55 am

It’s difficult to make hydrogen go BOOM! When a hydrogen pipeline crack(hydrogen corrosion) or the liquid hydrogen tanker rolls off the road it will be a nearly instantaneous huge fire explosion- only a few people die from the shock wave, but many would suffocate and get massive burns.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Disputin
September 8, 2021 12:21 pm

All that lovely hydrogen must be divorced from whatever it is “married to,” which will take energy – more than will be produced by burning the hydrogen after the fact.

Hydrogen has never been, is not, and will never be an “energy source,” unless you’re in a star (which is not a habitable place, so for all practical purposes).

MarkW
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
September 9, 2021 6:57 am

If we ever manage to get fusion working, hydrogen will be an energy source, as the energy needed to break the hydrogen out of whatever molecule it’s hiding in, is less then the energy that can be gotten from fusing it.

John Culhane
September 8, 2021 2:47 am

There is concern developing in Ireland (North & South) as well. With over 5,000 MW nameplate capacity installed across the island, wind turbine output has dropped to almost nothing. I’ve often observed figures less than 100 MW output several times this year since May 1st leaving the country dependent on coal, gas and interconnects to the United Kingdom to avoid widespread outages. The largest consumers of electricity are data-centers.

https://www.smartgriddashboard.com/#all/wind

The Irish establishment is also engaging in magical thinking inspired by subsidy harvesting. They are constructing an interconnect to Northern France where they imagine they will be able to pay for by placing wind-turbines offshore on the South-West Atlantic coast of the country and tap into French nuclear generated electricity when there is a shortage. You don’t need an economics degree to know you can only sell wind energy when it is available, thus you are a price taker, this the wind turbine operators favour contracts for difference. When you need power to avoid outages, the reliable oeprator can jack up the price.

Much of Western Europe (UK, Belgium, Germany and Italy) all pull from the same source (France) when they need power.

Ron Long
Reply to  John Culhane
September 8, 2021 3:19 am

So France is the local savior when it comes to “interconnects” that temporarily solve energy shortages. The electric energy in France is dominated by Nuclear reactor energy. How many people in France have died from nuclear plant disasters? Zero? If the United Kingdom actually removes nuclear power plants from the mix they deserve what they get in their winters.

John Culhane
Reply to  Ron Long
September 8, 2021 4:21 am

You can observe cross border export at this site https://www.electricitymap.org/map
Right now France is exporting power to 5 countries.

The physical distance of the Celtic interconnector between Ireland and France will be ~575 KM (~360 miles).

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  John Culhane
September 8, 2021 6:19 pm

G’Day John,

Thank you for the link. There’s a lot of information there to be digested.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Ron Long
September 8, 2021 4:54 am

Is there a reasonable limit to the amount of electricity the French can create or is it limitless? They seem to be selling to a lot of other countries and might they one day be unable to supply all these needs as well as their own?

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 8, 2021 8:41 am

There are likely to be shortages across Europe in periods of Dunkelflaute when the wind doesn’t blow and it’s cold and dark. Germany is shuttering a lot of nuclear capacity next year, and is moving from being a next exporter to a net importer of electricity. The UK is in a similar boat (although it has been reliant on imports for a long time already, that reliance is increasing), aggravated by coal closures and its dysfunctional market. France does not have the capacity to make up the shortfalls. Rotating blackouts and extreme price rationing are going to be the norm.

griff
Reply to  John Culhane
September 8, 2021 3:35 am

Not so: they pull from France when it has less demand than the output of its ‘always on’ nuclear.

Germany exports substantial amounts of electricity to France, for example and even the UK French links sometimes export

Graemethecat
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:59 am

I believe Germany actually pays its neighbours to consume its excess wind-generated electricity.

n.n
Reply to  John Culhane
September 8, 2021 4:53 am

Ah, the Irish. Catch a leprechaun and wish upon a rainbow that the wind blows within range. Good enough for marginal quality of life.

MarkW
Reply to  John Culhane
September 8, 2021 5:53 am

You can also only sell wind energy when it is needed.
That’s one of the problems Germany has been having. When they have excess wind/solar energy, it isn’t needed. So they end up having to pay people to take it off their hands.
Then when wind/solar drop out, they have to turn around and buy power from their neighbors.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  John Culhane
September 8, 2021 1:57 pm

I’ve often observed figures less than 100 MW output several times this year since May 1st

It’s actually worse than that. When you see a group* of turbines moving so slowly that you have to watch for a minute to see if they are moving, and typically 20% are fully stopped, they are being driven in order to prevent deformed bearings from being stopped. They are actually consuming electricity.

(*what’s the collective noun for wind turbines? A griff of turbines?)

spock
September 8, 2021 3:00 am

Wind power and solar will never replace fossil fuels.
Read the book that explains why in detail.
The moral case for fossil fuels

Derg
Reply to  spock
September 8, 2021 4:45 am

+1

fretslider
September 8, 2021 3:09 am

I was intrigued as to how the BBC would report on this and I wasn’t disappointed…

“Warm, still, autumn weather has meant wind farms have not generated as much power as normal”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58469238

I almost fell off the chair laughing at that one. The headline claims “UK fires up coal power plant as gas prices soar”

So it’s the price of gas? Or could it be down to, as The Guardian would have us believe, global ‘heating’?

“National Grid has fired up a coal-fired power station for the first time in 55 days after Britain’s record-breaking heatwave brought wind turbines to a near-standstill and caused gas-fired power stations to struggle.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/aug/12/national-grid-fires-up-coal-power-station-for-first-time-in-55-days

Record breaking heatwave? It’s the bog standard 3 hot days and a thunderstorm.

They haven’t got their ducks in a row.

I wonder what they’re on at The Guardian?

Last edited 13 days ago by fretslider
griff
Reply to  fretslider
September 8, 2021 3:33 am

I think you need to think about ‘for the first time in 55 days’.

and check the prices over last 2 months.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:56 am

For “55 days”, the gas powered plants were sufficient to make up for the deficiencies of wind and solar. Then they weren’t.

Rhs
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:57 am

And what is it you expect us to find?

Scissor
Reply to  fretslider
September 8, 2021 4:30 am

Ethanol mostly, with a lot of crack too.

davetherealist
Reply to  fretslider
September 8, 2021 9:41 am

So a month ago it was hot. But today it is cold enough to need to turn on the heat again and Wind cant keep up. Reading the Alternative spin by BBC and The Guardian is really funny. Lies LIes and more Lies. The night time temps will be in the 50s going from now until they get even colder. So how these ass clowns mention a month old 1 day temperature point is further proof of their idiotic agenda.

Jordan
Reply to  fretslider
September 8, 2021 1:06 pm

The UK November/December clean spark-spread (gas-fired forward market profit after CO2 costs) has been around £6 to £8 per MWh for a few weeks now.
The UK November/December clean spark-spread (coal-fired forward market profit after CO2 costs) has been as high as £16/MWh in the same period.
The UK forward power market is calling for coal fired generating capacity.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 8, 2021 3:15 am

While there are the odd wind turbines in Portugal and some homes have solar water heaters, over indulgence in renewables does not seem to be a problem. My dependence on reliable electricity is centered on keeping food cold, illumination, and computer. Most homes in Portugal do not have central heating or AC. Wood stoves and fireplaces are very popular. If we lose power in winter, we will shiver in the dark but we do that anyway with lights on! Some farms have gigantic solar panels mounted on poles or on roofs, I suspect to keep the milking machines powered.

griff
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 8, 2021 3:32 am

The production of electricity from renewable sources supplied 51 percent of Portuguese consumption in 2019, with wind power representing 27 percent, the highest share ever.

Renewable power plants in mainland Portugal generated 11,338 GWh of electricity in the first three months of the year, or 79.5% of the total, show data from the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energy (APREN).

Wind farms generated 28% of the mainland power, more than all fossil-fuel technologies combined, making them the leading non-hydro green energy source’

I just don’t think you are paying attention to the reality?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:37 am

Did you actually read what the poster said?

Wood stoves and fireplaces are very popular. If we lose power in winter, we will shiver in the dark but we do that anyway with lights on! “

Does *your* house have a wood stove? Does it have a fireplace? Where do you get your wood?

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 8, 2021 5:24 am

Doubt griff owns a house.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:05 am

But Griff, that’s all very well and good, but what happens when the wind doesn’t blow? It’s the intermittency of wind power that is the problem, which is something you don’t appear to understand.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Andrew Wilkins
September 8, 2021 5:25 am

One of many things griff doesn’t understand.

Abolition Man
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:47 am

The irony of the griffter accusing ANYONE of not paying attention to reality is as deep as the Marianas Trench!
Griffter, your head is filled with rainbows and unicorn farts; there doesn’t appear to be anything more substantial in there!

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:57 am

There is a huge difference between supplying 51% once, for 5 minutes and supplying 51% on average for the entire year.

Jordan
Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2021 1:09 pm

And there is a huge difference in having the capability to supply 51% at the times of peak demand, therefore capacity with the manageable reliability to contribute to security of supply.

Rusty
September 8, 2021 3:22 am

Nice to see my ‘news tip’ got picked up on.

There’s a real problem brewing in the UK. Natural gas prices are rising fast, but the UK has shrunk its NG storage capacity meaning it can no longer buy NG at cheap rates when demand is low and then store it for when prices rise and demand is high.

The wholesale electricity price hit a new high on Monday on one of the hottest days of the year.

The UK nearly ran out of NG in 2018 and relied on shipments from Qatar and Russia.

The situation is now worse because electricity production is reliant on NG to take up the slack when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Coal plants have been demolished and nuclear plants are due to close.

A cold winter like 2010 accompanied by lower than normal power from wind will see prices and thus bills go through the roof along with gas rationing.

The ‘crunch’ is going to occur at some point and its better sooner than later.

JamesD
Reply to  Rusty
September 8, 2021 7:38 am

Why have they lost storage? Green regs or did the injection wells age out?

Jordan
Reply to  Rusty
September 8, 2021 1:14 pm

One of the significant risks of having a large wind contribution is that the UK cannot predict wind production with any confidence more than a few days ahead. So getting gas from Qatar means getting the orders en route in time scales to cater for shortages. A few days ahead is not enough, so its imports from the EU (gas and power) or rolling blackouts to ration energy.
The UK electorate pays dearly for electricity and gas at about £1400 per household per year. They will be asking how they can be paying more for a poorer service.

griff
September 8, 2021 3:29 am

forced?

The 3 coal plants still operating in the UK have in the last 3 years gone for days without any being turned on (up to 2 months if memory serves me).

In the last 2 years they have contributed a mere 2% of UK electricity.

2 more will close next year, the final one in October 2024.

This is merely making opportunistic use of a nearly expired asset.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:39 am

And what will happen when their capacity is needed and they aren’t there any longer?

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:08 am

Again, Griff: because of the unreliability of wind and solar, fossil fuel back up is needed.
You will always need that “opportunistic use” on standby. Without it the UK would be stuffed. What is it that you don’t understand?

Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:48 am

What isn’t mentioned is how long it takes to “turn up” a coal plant. My reading of the article indicates the coal plants were to be ran on standby in order to be ready to supply power. You can’t mothball a coal plant and then expect it to come online quickly. Days to weeks to start up from cold.

Meanwhile how does running coal on standby for days or weeks help UK’s carbon output? When the nuke plants close, how many more coal plants will be running on standby? How many gas plants?

Jordan
Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 8, 2021 1:20 pm

If the Electricity System Operator anticipates the need for coal-fired generation, it can order “warming” under a balancing service contract. The instructed coal fired unit will then get the boilers warmed up using fuel oil and the first start-up should be possible within a number of hours. There will be a payment for warming.
When a coal fired unit is asked to cycle on- and off over the day, a “hot start” can be achieved by around 4 hours from the instruction to get going.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Jordan
September 8, 2021 5:22 pm

And who is going to pay for the return on investment for that coal plant sitting there in a non-running state? Even worse, plants like this that just sit in a non-running state can develop all kinds of problems which also have to be factored into “turn on” time requirements.

Jordan
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 8, 2021 11:57 pm

It’s nothing unusual Tim and nothing to complain about.
Holding reserve is an essential part of security of supply. Not all generating capacity can operate all the time when demand swings by GW over all timescales (daily and annually). And holding reserve is essential to cover for loss of generating capacity due to planned and unplanned shutdowns.
The cost of holding reserve is a cost of providing security of supply. You pay for it now, and your have been paying for it all your life.
The issue with adding unreliables is that it increases the need to hold reserve (expressed as a ratio of reserve capacity compared to total installed capacity). That’s because reserve has to be held for shortage of wind, and not just to cater for demand swings and shutdowns. Unreliables increase the cost of reserve, which is a fair complaint. But the cost of holding reserve can never be zero.
The reliability of reserve is a matter for good management, both the choice of reserve capacity, and good maintenance. Likewise, it’s not unusual nor novel.

MarkW
Reply to  Jordan
September 9, 2021 7:06 am

The difference is that before wind and solar, this reserve amounted to a few percent of total production capability.
The greater the dependence on wind and solar, the greater the volume of reserve that is needed, and the greater the cost for maintaining that reserve.
When you get to 100% wind and solar, you need to have a “reserve” equal to 100% of worst case demand.

Jordan
Reply to  MarkW
September 9, 2021 1:51 pm

To put a figure on that Mark, in Great Britain and before the expansion of unreliables, 23% “supply margin” (that is, total installed generating capacity minus peak demand) equated to a loss of load probability of a couple of hours per year. 23% supply margin was considered to be an acceptable standard of generation security and was part of “the deal” paid by customers in their electricity tariffs.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:58 am

How long would the blackout have lasted had they not been there?

Jordan
Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2021 1:34 pm

In the UK, power rationing is achieved by rota disconnection in the power distribution system. If there is an ongoing energy shortage, individual streets can take turns to be disconnected The good news is that there are planning arrangements in the UK Grid Code and Distribution Code for this.
If the 1970’s experience is anything to go by, streets would be disconnected for about 3 hours at a time, and then others would take their turns. Once rota disconnection is fully underway, the disconnections can be announced over media and the next disconnection on your street might be a few days after the last.
If there is an unplanned event, such as the lightning strike in August 2019, disconnections could not be announced in advance, Power was restored after only about 1 hour in August 2019 and there was no need for rolling outages (there wasn’t an ongoing shortage of energy).
The bad news is that some of our infrastructure is designed on the assumption of 100% reliable power supplies. It is not prepared for power rationing. I recall there was a lot of rail disruption after the August 2019 incident, as locomotives did not have self-starting capability and needed manual intervention to get them returned to service.

MarkW
Reply to  Jordan
September 9, 2021 7:08 am

Instead of disconnecting everyone, they just disconnect some.
And for some reason, this is celebrated as an improvement over then time when nobody had to be disconnected.

How long until we find out that the rich and powerful never have their power “disconnected”?

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 7:02 am

You can’t “just turn on” a coal plant. It takes several days to bring one up from a cold start.

Rusty
September 8, 2021 3:29 am

Nice to see my ‘news tip’ got picked up on.

There’s a real problem brewing in the UK. Natural gas prices are rising fast, but the UK has shrunk its NG storage capacity meaning it can no longer buy NG at cheap rates when demand is low and then store it for when prices rise and demand is high.

The wholesale electricity price hit a new high on Monday when temperatures were greater than 25°C.

The UK nearly ran out of NG in 2018 and relied on shipments from Qatar and Russia.

The situation is now worse because electricity production is reliant on NG to take up the slack when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Coal plants have been demolished and nuclear plants are due to close.

A cold winter like 2010 accompanied by lower than normal power from wind will see prices and thus bills go through the roof along with gas rationing.

The ‘crunch’ is going to occur at some point and its better sooner than later.

Reply to  Rusty
September 8, 2021 3:31 am

Wind power now generates about 20pc of UK electricity across the year but varies hugely day by day. On Monday morning, output fell to 474 megawatts compared to a record 14,286 megawatts on May 21, Bloomberg said.

Rusty
Reply to  zee raja
September 8, 2021 3:49 am

It’s been low all summer.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Rusty
September 8, 2021 5:40 am

It’s been low all year. 34.6TWh of wind generation in first six months of 2020, and just 28.79TWh for the first six months of 2021, despite an increase in capcity.

saveenergy
Reply to  zee raja
September 8, 2021 5:42 am

Last 12 mths UK electricity came from –

40.4% Gas
17.9% Wind
17% Nuclear
10.6% Imports (France, Holland, Belgium, Ireland.)
7% biomass
4% Solar
1.8% Coal
1.3% Hydro

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  saveenergy
September 8, 2021 12:36 pm

So, 76.8% from “burning stuff and fission,” compared with 21.9% from wind and solar (which can’t be counted on and needs to be backed up).

And they plan to reduce Nuclear (fission).

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=madness+Bridge+on+the+River+Kwai+movie+clip&docid=608041049969198859&mid=89F9C06A27F89006DDDB89F9C06A27F89006DDDB&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

Jordan
Reply to  zee raja
September 8, 2021 1:38 pm

And that’s a problem with doubling wind capacity. If the circa 20TW capacity the UK has today is doubled-up to circa 40TW (at huge expense), 500MW might have been 1000MW. Two times nearly nothing is still equal to nearly nothing. We’d need the same reserve sources of power.

griff
Reply to  Rusty
September 8, 2021 4:19 am

UK NG storage has never been large and we have for years been importing from Qatar as N Sea production ramps down.

wind allows us to burn less expensive gas… as the current pipeline of offshore wind rolls out, ever less gas gets burned. (30 GW in building/approved/approval awaited and 10GW operating)

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:43 am

Gas only became expensive becuase we have been closing coal and nuclear capacity, so it’s now about the only way to keep the lights on in low wind. Gas was very cheap last year when demand was low because of lockdowns.

Greytide
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 9:44 am

“Wind” does not allow us to burn less expensive gas. We burn gas when we need to because of the unreliability of “Renewables”. The Gas has to be bought at the market rate depending on how much we have in storage. It is going to get very expensive.

Iain Reid
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 11:50 pm

Griff,
the problem that does not seem to be commonly recognised is that you can only connect so much wind power (or solar etc), you cannot keep expanding. It is asynchronous, i.e. uncontrollable, there must be a significant amount of synchronous generation, to keep the system frequency stable. Frequency is the critical parameter and an indication of system balance. At times too much wind is as bad as too little, renewables are a lose lose situation.

J Jowsey
September 8, 2021 3:40 am

Revealing figures but not much will happen until we have blackouts.

griff
Reply to  J Jowsey
September 8, 2021 4:17 am

always predicting blackouts – and where are they?

DaveS
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:01 am

What would have happened if that “ nearly expired asset” hadn’t been there, griff?

Managed blackouts are the whole point of “smart” meters.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:44 am

Germany has already indulged in power rationing to industry. We can expect to see much more of that across Europe. Centrica even think that prices will get so high that industry chooses not to pay them, and simply shut down without being cut off.

JamesD
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
September 8, 2021 7:43 am

Same will happen. Shut down factories in UK due to high power costs and unreliable costs. Keeps the lights on. People lose their jobs, but they’ll just print up magic pieces of paper and give it to them.

ih_fan
Reply to  JamesD
September 8, 2021 11:32 am

Shut down factories in UK due to high power costs and unreliable costs.

Those jobs will migrate to China, to factories powered by coal.

The UK will be green, but also poor and cold.

Reply to  ih_fan
September 8, 2021 4:04 pm

Especially when China raises the price to compensate for the increase in magic pieces of paper.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
September 8, 2021 12:39 pm

I get the feeling that industry may start building their own dedicated power plants, if the Eco-Nazis haven’t regulated the ability to do so out of existence.

Jordan
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
September 8, 2021 1:54 pm

There probably has been a lot of private DSM (demand side management) activity in the UK, through bilateral contracts with Electricity Suppliers. It will not make the news because it is contractually agreed.
However, just when you were noticing a shortage of goods in the shops and down at the building supplier ….

Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 5:53 am

You sound like a betting man that is on the side of no blackouts due to power shortages. What are you willing to wager that blackouts never ever occur due to power shortages over the next ten years? How about no more trolling on WUWT?

Bill Toland
Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 8, 2021 6:07 am

We need Griff on WUWT to put the alarmist point of view. Then we can destroy his arguments. However, recently Griff has gone on overdrive saying things than even other climate alarmists wouldn’t dream of saying. Perhaps Griff should cut back on the coffee a little.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 6:00 am

You would have had them this time, had the coal plants not been on standby.

September 8, 2021 3:56 am

High carbon charges on coal in Europe have been one reason for the high gas price, pushing up demand for gas by making coal more expensive.

The global green energy coup is turning the energy “market” (LOL) into a command economy, first in the idiot countries and eventually globally.

So “prices” (LOL) are artificial and politically decided and mean nothing, except suffering for citizens.
And arguments from Griff that renewable energy is “too cheap to meter” are even more meaningless than on an average day.

griff
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
September 8, 2021 4:17 am

I have never said renewable energy is or will be too cheap to meter.

I have pointed out that if you are going to call German electricity expensive, you have to look at what the cost is made up of and compare it on the same terms.

Derg
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 4:48 am

SUBSIDIES 😉

September 8, 2021 4:29 am

So these two units were on standby prior to taking load. Was that coal fired warming through or gas fired warming through, prior to startup?

I wonder how much is costs to keep a large coal plant warm, waiting for use?

Is this cost factored into the price of wind and solar?

DaveS
Reply to  Steve Richards
September 8, 2021 4:54 am

We end up paying it, but those who control these things don’t want us to see the real cost break-down.

griff
Reply to  Steve Richards
September 8, 2021 7:32 am

They were shut down completely for the last 55 days. Last year we went even longer without using them, only switching them on to cover planned maintenance.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 8:26 am

If they were shut down then you are talking weeks to get them back up and running, even for planned maintenance. What makes you think planned maintenance requires the plant to be running, anyway? Most plants shut *down* for planned maintenance.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 8, 2021 4:28 pm

They must, as all large motors, generators, fans, turbines, etc. must be tested and balanced.

Just as those same pieces of equipment must be tested and balance checked before restarting the bilers. Along with ensuring every piece of pipe in the plant is checked to be clear and free flowing.

Every cooling water pipe to the outside must have all filters cleaned and be pressure checked.

Planned maintenance checks for and repairs wear.

Bad things happen when large equipment sits. As wind turbine operators realize on a regular basis when a turbine doesn’t spin for weeks then fails as it starts up.
So large plant operators check every component and system before they fire up the plant.
Every plumber, millwright, tool and die operator, welder, machine operator, bearing technician, pneumatic expert, rail worker and even laborers work overtime until the plant is tested and ready.

Jordan
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 2:03 pm

Warming doesn’t involve generating power. You would not know whether warming had been instructed by looking at the generated output.
Once warmed, the unit should be able to start within a few hours. If cycling on- and off, a coal unit can complete a “hot start” in about 4 hours.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Jordan
September 9, 2021 4:37 am

I guess most everyone assumes a mothballed coal plant that hasn’t been run in a long time. That takes days to insure everything is functioning correctly prior to actually generating steam.

Your assumption of 4 hours is for a plant that has been “warmed” and had all the checks done during that process. You simply can’t start a boiler from a long cold period that fast while assuring cracks and other failures won’t occur.

Even your warming up process on an intermittent basis is destructive to components and will increase the maintenance required, think shorten its lifetime.

MarkW
Reply to  Jordan
September 9, 2021 7:16 am

Keeping a plant ready for a “hot start” requires a significant amount of energy. With no electrical output to pay for that energy.

Jordan
Reply to  MarkW
September 9, 2021 1:56 pm

That’s nothing unusual MarkW. There are many forms of reserve in operating a power systems, and many forms of essential balancing services which consume power. Not everything on a secure, dynamic and responsive power network can be equated to electrical output.
It will cost a few tens of tonnes of oil to warm a coal fired power station, costing a few thousand £ in fuel costs, CO2 costs, and taxes. Not much to get excited about when National Grid’s total annual balancing services costs amount to many £10Millions.

Reply to  Steve Richards
September 8, 2021 4:13 pm

Oddly enough, some of these inconvenient fossil fuel costs are charged back against fossil fuel as “subsidies”.
As are research for renewables, fuel taxes, pretend carbon societal costs taxes, renewable energy interconnect costs, etc. etc.

Sara
September 8, 2021 4:32 am

The Hunterston B and Dungeness B nuclear stations are both due to shut within months, taking away a stable energy source at a time when unpredictable wind and solar generation is an increasingly part of the country’s power mix. – Is there a reason given for shuttering two nuclear plants? I did not see anything explaining that.

The nuke plant near me was shut down in 1998 because of operator error and has been demolished, and I’m finding that several nuclear power plants in my state are being shut down because carbon-based fuels (gas and coal) are “cheaper” to run power plants. This is just plain stupid, because the nuke plants still have 15 to 20 years of “working life” ahead of them and they are carbon-emission free, if THAT is really so important.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Sara
September 8, 2021 5:52 am

Dungeness B has been shut down for two years already. Heysham. Hinkley Point B and Hartlepool have all been shut for maintenance, but are coming back. Torness is also threatened with early closure.

Jordan
Reply to  Sara
September 8, 2021 2:10 pm

Sara – these nuclear units are life-expired. UK nuclear power stations need an approved “safety case” to operate (approved by the regulator called the NII = Nuclear Installations Inspectorate). The operator has looked at the condition of the reactors and decided not to seek a safety case for them as it does not believe they are in a condition to be approved. It could be economic or safety or both.

September 8, 2021 4:46 am

I see the BBC is running a little item saying the Greens want COP26 postponed apparently due to virus concerns: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-58472566

“Climate change: Green groups call for COP26 postponement”
Perhaps they do not want to freeze with no power in Scotland!!!

Bill Toland
Reply to  Steve Richards
September 8, 2021 4:57 am

I think the greens have realised that COP26 will be a fiasco for them. China, India and Africa will not agree to any limits on their carbon dioxide emissions under any circumstances; it looks as if the greens have finally accepted that. Of course, this means that any further COP conferences will be a pointless waste of time.

Last edited 13 days ago by Bill Toland
griff
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 7:30 am

Or they could actually be worried about an infectious virus?

Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 7:48 am

If that was true, the conference could be held online.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 9:29 am

They are expecting up to 30,000 people to attend although only around 4000 will actually be involved in the negotiations. The rest will be campaigners, lobbyists, business groups etc.

Even an online conference of 4000 is going to be pretty hard to organise.

Reply to  Dave Andrews
September 8, 2021 4:34 pm

Should be much easier and cheaper than doing it in a conference center.

MarkW
Reply to  Dave Andrews
September 9, 2021 7:18 am

The management at the company where I work, does online conferences with the entire company several times a year, and we have pretty close to 4000 employees.

Last edited 12 days ago by MarkW
MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 7:17 am

They’ve known about that “infectious virus” for 18 months. Why are they only now doing something about it?

Graemethecat
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 9:12 am

The delegates are merely disappointed that COP26 is being held in Glasgow in November, and are waiting for COP27 to be held in a warmer and more agreeable location with better-looking ladies of the night.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Graemethecat
September 8, 2021 12:10 pm

I wouldn’t want to be in Glasgow during November and I live here.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 2:06 pm

I wouldn’t want to be in Glasgow during November and I live here.

Now, that there is funny!

Graemethecat
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 9, 2021 2:39 am

The plus point of Glasgow is that Loch Lomond and the Trossachs are a short drive away. Utterly glorious in good weather.

MarkW
Reply to  Graemethecat
September 9, 2021 7:20 am

Utterly glorious in good weather.

Which happens how often?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 12:42 pm

You mean like all the rest of them?!

Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 4:32 pm

And every bit of research they thought would slam dunk skeptics has already been debunked and trashed.

It doesn't add up...
September 8, 2021 4:48 am

Here’s what has been happening to UK day ahead power prices
On Monday they reached £225/MWh, almost double last week’s average.

UK Day Ahead Power.png
It doesn't add up...
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
September 8, 2021 2:43 pm

Tomorrow is £280/MWh.

Reply to  It doesn't add up...
September 8, 2021 4:36 pm

I really dislike “liking” bad news like that.

2hotel9
September 8, 2021 4:59 am

Coal is King, gas is the Queen!

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  2hotel9
September 8, 2021 5:26 am

Get fracking!

griff
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
September 8, 2021 7:30 am

not going to happen in the UK or in the EU.

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 8:09 am

Already is, stupid. Learn to read, then learn to comprehend, then stop spewing lie, you lie spewing liar.

ih_fan
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 11:36 am

not going to happen in the UK or in the EU.

Then please enjoy being Putin’s Puppets, since that is where your NG will come from.

2hotel9
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
September 8, 2021 8:14 am

And the King said go forth and Frac some more, for lo the Queen needeth more volume, and it was so.

It doesn't add up...
September 8, 2021 5:35 am

Here’s a bit more of the insanity. They’re testing the new interconnector to Norway in export mode at a time of shortage and high prices in the GB making the shortage worse.

GB INterconnect NOrway Testing.png
griff
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
September 8, 2021 7:29 am

‘testing’. big clue there.

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 8:10 am

That means it is happening, lie spewing liar.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 8:13 am

It’s a big clue as to why they could either have a) cancelled it, pending less tight market conditions, or b) reversed the direction of the test so that instead of making things worse, it helped.

ResourceGuy
September 8, 2021 6:49 am

Meanwhile DRAX Group is aggressively moving ahead with many more wood pellet mill projects in the U.S. to process, load, and ship wood across the Atlantic to burn in the UK.

How many V weapons must be sent into the forests of North America to make your point?

griff
Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 8, 2021 7:29 am

There won’t be any more Drax style projects in the UK to burn the pellets though… and Drax may not survive.

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 8:11 am

One correct point from the lie spewing liar! Coal and gas are going to save UK, your lie spewing will not stop it from happening.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 9:11 am
Gordon A. Dressler
September 8, 2021 6:57 am

From the above article: ” ‘Wind power now generates about 20pc of UK electricity across the year but varies hugely day by day. On Monday morning, output fell to 474 megawatts compared to a record 14,286 megawatts on May 21’, Bloomberg said.”

Methinks it’s gonna take a ginormous number of batteries to smooth out that supply variation when the UK goes “net-zero carbon” with their power grid by 2050.

Need to start buying now . . . there’s a battery sale going on at the local drugstore.

griff
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 8, 2021 7:28 am

Well bear in mind the huge number of renewable energy projects already approved and building… over 30 GW of offshore wind alone…

The number of links to other countries, the expansion of demand management and pumped storage…

Bear in mind that wind available is perfectly predictable 24 hours in advance…

Think about the plans already in progress to use EV batteries to supply power back to the grid

you are just spouting off without checking the predicted capacity.

Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 7:52 am

“You are just spouting off without checking the predicted capacity”. I can’t believe that Griff just said that. You do know that capacity doesn’t equal output, Griff? The current capacity of wind power in Britain is worth diddly squat when the wind isn’t blowing. If you double the capacity, it will have no effect on output if there is no wind; you do understand that, Griff?

Using electric car batteries to power the grid is a ridiculous pipedream. Who in their right mind would drain their electric car’s battery when they wouldn’t know when they could recharge it? This is another fantasy spouted by electric car fans.

Last edited 13 days ago by Bill Toland
Dave Andrews
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 9:43 am

Using electric car batteries to power the grid is a ridiculous pipedream

Well according to Jillian Ambrose of the Guardian (try not to laugh before you get to the end)

If enough drivers take up the opportunity to make money from their car batteries by using vehicle-to-grid technology, the UK could avoid investing in new power plants with the equivalent generating capacity of 10 large nuclear power stations.”

What is she on? I’d like to try it.

Last edited 12 days ago by Dave Andrews
MarkW
Reply to  Dave Andrews
September 8, 2021 10:04 am

Before anyone can use their car as a “vehicle-to-grid” technology, the car will have to be rewired to support it. At present no cars are being sold that have the ability to dump battery power to external batteries.

To do what the reporterette is proposing, all cars would need to be equipped with a device capable of converting 400VCD to 120VAC at whatever current is decided on.
Beyond that, the device will have to be able to synch up with the AC from the grid.
Beyond that, has anyone thought through the nightmare of forcing the grid operators to synchronize millions of low wattage generators all trying to push power onto the grid at the same time.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2021 1:02 pm

Beyond that, the electric cars being used for “vehicle to grid” would actually have to be charged. Good luck with that, when the “grid” is in a need for power. D’oh!

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2021 1:13 pm

MarkW, all of your points, except for the last paragraph are well made. We are generally in agreement.

However, regarding your last paragraph, it should be noted that modern electronics controlling well-designed DC-AC inverter systems are CURRENTLY in use that allow home batteries (DC) that are charged by home solar panels (DC) and that are above a certain percent of design energy storage capacity to return power (AC) to the local grid automatically.

In fact, many solar panel sales companies tout the “return on your investment” made possible by “selling” your excess solar power back to the local utility. I do understand that some electric utility companies fight tooth-and-nail to avoid having to receive and pay for such home-generated electricity, but there more and more laws prohibiting that activity by the utility companies.

The home electronics associated with such solar systems automatically perform the DC-AC frequency & voltage & phase synchronization conversions needed to safely and reliably return battery power to the grid . . . they do such seamlessly and do not require any actions by the grid operators.

With this demonstrated ability in action across numerous (hundreds of thousands?) of solar panel/battery storage-using households, it would not be at all that difficult or expensive to have similar electronics/inverters send EV battery energy back into a local grid automatically.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 8, 2021 2:20 pm

Correct, and they already exist and have been trialled in V2G settings. Cost is something of a disincentive at the moment. This trial offered an incentive of 30p/kWh for power supplied back to the grid when the underlying cost was probably around half that – or less on an overnight economy tariff.

https://www.cenex.co.uk/app/uploads/2021/01/V2G-Commercial-Viability-1.pdf

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 8, 2021 5:18 pm

Gordon,

  1. The DC-AC conversion is bound to have inefficiencies. You’ll never get what you expect from this type of backfeed.
  2. DC-AC conversion requires there to be a signal on the grid that can be synced to. During a blackout where there is no signal to sync to all those units trying to feed electricity into the grid are highly likely to cause more problems, not fewer. The best case would probably be that they would all go off-line – meaning they would be useless.
Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 9, 2021 7:28 am

1. I never claimed such.

2 . It is easy to design electronics that stop power being fed back into the grid if there is no grid frequency/voltage detected beforehand (your last sentence). Would they therefore be “useless”? . . . not at all if one considered the percent of time the grid would be in a “blackout” condition compared to being fully operational, which ratio I suspect averages less than 0.5% in every advanced country on the planet.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Dave Andrews
September 8, 2021 2:12 pm

the UK could avoid investing in new power plants with the equivalent generating capacity of 10 large nuclear power stations.

Perhaps people are missing the main point that Dave is making? The fact that this loony actually seems to believe that EVs generate electricity, rather than use it.

Don’t build new power plants, just use all those EVs. Simples!

Graemethecat
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 9, 2021 2:44 am

Jillian Ambrose clearly doesn’t understand Conservation of Energy. Guardian journalists have to be the most scientifically illiterate people around.

Jordan
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 8, 2021 2:19 pm

Not to mention the turnaround efficiency from high voltage, to battery cell voltage, back to grid voltage. I reckon the round trip would easily lose 25% of the energy, so that would be 25% more energy to be produced to get back to naught.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 7:57 am

…Think about the plans already in progress to use EV batteries to supply power back to the grid….

And pigs can fly .

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 8:11 am

And they will fail just like the rest. Coal; is King, gas is the Queen.

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 8:20 am

Coal is still King, no matter what lies you spew, sweety.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 8:24 am

It doesn’t matter how many wind mills you add, when the wind doesn’t blow you don’t get any output. It doesn’t matter how many solar panels you add, when the sun doesn’t shine you don’t get any output.

So what do you do with all those wind mills and solar panels when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine?

“Demand management” is double-speak for blackouts.

EV batteries only work for backup when they are home – when they *should* be charging, not acting as electricity generators.

Wind is *NOT* perfectly predictable 24 hours in advance. if it was all weather forecasts would be correct for 24 hours in advance. Yet they barely run 50% accurate. About as good as the flat rock in my back yard!

And what if they predict no wind for the next 24 hours? How does that help? If you don’t have dispatchable, rapid deployment generators then all you are doing is predicting blackouts 24 hours in advance. How does that help prevent the blackouts?

MarkW
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 8, 2021 10:06 am

Even when the sun doesn’t shine, a lot of the time you won’t be getting much power. As the sun approaches the horizon, the amount of power being generated by the panels, drops fast.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2021 1:04 pm

I think you meant even when the Sun *does* shine…

MarkW
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
September 9, 2021 7:23 am

Need to increase the size of the caffeine drip in the morning.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 8:53 am

Think about the plans already in progress to use EV batteries to supply power back to the grid

Thought about it. The batteries would run out after about an hour. Then you are back to blackouts.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
September 8, 2021 1:05 pm

Assuming they were “charged” when the grid was in need of power. Whoops!

MarkW
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
September 9, 2021 7:24 am

Also assuming that the cars won’t be needed in the morning to drive the owners to work.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2021 9:22 am

Ahhh . . . I don’t know why I bother, but here goes:

Logic 101 (failure). Wind power across the UK has been shown to vary day-to-day by at least 30:1, as cited in the above article. Yet in spite of this hard data, you wish to point out that over 30 GW of additional offshore wind power should be “borne in mind”? Just ridiculous.

As of October 2020, the UK has five—count them, five!— significant (≥ 160 MW output) pumped hydro storage facilities, that combined together at peak power output can provide all of 3.0 GW of output. Britain has an estimated 2.4 GW of additional hydropower potential, but hasn’t built a large-scale pumped hydro storage facility in the past 30 years.
(https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/features/hydroelectric-power-stations-uk/ )

With a documented day-to-day possible shortfall of 13.8 GW from wind generation (per above article), the 3.0+2.4 = 5.4 GW max possible pumped hydro storage in the UK would only address about 40% of the non-reliability problem. So again, you make a ridiculous argument.

You cavalierly, and absurdly, stated: Bear in mind that wind available is perfectly predictable 24 hours in advance…”. You obviously have never ridden in a hot air balloon, piloted an aircraft, b