By Paul Homewood
WOW!! Who’d have thought?
Prolonged periods of low wind and solar power could trigger blackouts as Britain races to ditch fossil fuels, experts have warned.
The country can expect to suffer a slump in wind known as a dunkelflaute – or “dark wind lull” – every 20 years and the system needs to be able to cope, academics from Imperial College London have warned.
Wind farm output fell to 0.6GW on March 3 amid the longest spell of low wind in more than a decade, they said.
The academics urge greater investment in technologies that can help bridge gaps in power supply when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining. Their report was commissioned by the hydro-power and biomass power station owner Drax.
Dr Iain Staffell, of Imperial College London, said: “It’s time for Britain to get serious about the threat of extreme weather events to our electricity system….
Drax highlighted the benefits of its hydro-power stations as a stand-by source of power instead of gas. Its Cruachan facility pumped hydro-power storage site in Scotland has a six-year contract to help stabilise power demand and supply. Drax is planning to expand the site.
Will Gardiner, chief executive, said: “A new generation of pumped hydro storage power stations will allow the UK to decarbonise faster and cheaper.
“These water batteries soak up surplus power from wind and solar farms and then release it to plug gaps during extreme weather events.”
Unsurprisingly Drax, who commissioned the report, are deviously calling for more investment in hydro storage, something that they hope to profit from. However pumped storage is fine for an hour or two, but useless for covering serious shortfalls in wind power for days and even weeks on end, something which the UK experienced only last month.
So what are your solutions for that, Mr Gardiner?
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May 24, 2021 at 07:57AM