Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to British government ministers, the best way to shield Britons from gas price volatility is to embrace renewable energy. My question – what is the plan when the wind stops blowing, like it did last September?
Renewables auctions to be held annually in green energy push
By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analyst
The government has re-stated its faith in green technologies with a decision that it says will create a steady stream of renewable energy projects.
Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng says renewable power is the best way to shield the UK from volatile gas prices.
He announced that auctions to supply low-carbon electricity will now happen every year, instead of every two.
He says this will bring more certainty to firms planning to invest in wind turbines and solar panels.
The renewables industry is delighted – especially after a week that’s seen the government’s energy policy under fire from some MPs and commentators who believe the costs of the drive to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050 are too high.
Mr Kwarteng said: “We are hitting the accelerator on domestic electricity production to boost energy security, attract private investment and create jobs in our industrial heartlands.
…Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-60325908
in September 2021, Bloomberg reported that wind power in Britain failed, because the wind stopped blowing.
U.K. Power Surges to Record 400 Pounds as Wind Fails to Blow
“We are not receiving enough renewable production”: Accenture
U.K. can’t count on nuclear as five EDF units are offline
Electricity prices soared to a record in Britain as a period of still weather is curbing wind power, exposing the U.K.’s reliance on intermittent renewables.
U.K. power for next day exceed 400 pounds ($553) a megawatt-hour at an auction on Monday, an all-time high. Wind generation is currently below normal, accounting for about 11% of all the electricity entering the grid. That’s leaving the market exposed to swings at a time five nuclear units are offline.
The U.K.’s ability to meet peak demand was already set to shrink this winter as coal and nuclear power stations close early. The outlook has worsened as low wind speeds have forced Britain to rely more on fossil fuels to produce power at a time Europe is facing a shortage of gas and coal prices are surging.
…Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-13/u-k-power-prices-hit-record-as-outages-low-winds-cut-supply
How can anyone believe that wind and solar can fulfil Britain’s energy needs? How can anyone believe that more renewables can stabilise energy supply?
Britain has had multiple demonstrations the last few years, including last September, that renewables are too unreliable to be useful. If Kwasi Kwarteng gets his way, the energy price pain will grow.