Wind-Turbines quoted capacity expectations for the UK Power Network are way over a safe stable operating level.
02 November 2012.
Ed Davey has demonstrated that he hasn’t got a clue about the direction that he is trying to take the UK in relation to the levels of Wind-Turbines connected to the UK power network!!!
If we start the analysis backwards from a summer minimum demand of around 16GW = 16,000 MW and then add 4,000MW of pump storage demand, that results in a total demand of 20GW or 20,000MW. Assume a nuclear generation level of 6,000MW that leaves just 14GW =14,000MW to be supplied by wind-turbines and balancing generators. If the balancing conventional generators operate at half load then 10,000MW would give an operating level of 5000MW, which means a maximum of 9,000MW of wind-turbines could be allowed to operate on a windy summer night..
9,000MW of wind turbines equates to only 21TWh of energy per year, assuming a 25% capacity to outturn factor.
The stable renewable electricity generation levels, as wind-turbines, should therefore be no more than 8% of the gross yearly electricity demand (8% of 300 TWhours).
Ed Davey has quoted 30% renewable energy level as a proportion of the total and this would mean 33,000MW.
33,000MW = 33GW which is clearly unworkable for a stable level of wind turbines connected to the UK power system.
From these observations, an absolute maximum of 10,000MW = 10GW should be allowed, as connected to the UK power system for stable operations. More than this level are al ready in the pipeline for construction and operational.
That is why a moratorium to stop any more wind turbines being connected to the UK power network should be adopted forthwith.
What is remarkable is that Alex Salmond is stating that Scotland alone should be connecting a greater level than this. This cannot be justified unless more than half of them are expected to be shut down on windy summer nights. This would again make them less efficient and result in more carbon emissions in their operations.
Clearly, Ed Davey, by stating an overall target of 30% renewable generation on the UK power netweork, is also qouting an unworkable level. This would equate to 40,000MW of wind-turbine capacity and on a windy summer night only 9,000MW would be allowed for stable operations.
The original European renewable energy target was 15% by 2020. Tony Blair offered to improve this to 20% and instigated a Government ACT. Now Ed Davey is quoting 30%. This level would be grossly uneconomic and practically unworkable.
Ed Davey, David Cameron and Alex Salmond need to get a grasp of these technical limitations.
George Wood, retired senior technical manager, National Grid