Clive Best: Live UK grid monitor

Clive Best has developed a Live UK Grid Monitor that is a simplified version of Gridwatch providing an instantaneous picture of wind, coal, gas, nuclear, imports and hydro supply to the UK grid.

There are three outputs:

1) an up to the minute picture of supply
2) a summary of the last 24 hours and
3) a summary of the last 30 days.

Great work Clive! I’ve added permanent links to the widget bar on the right.

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8 Responses to Clive Best: Live UK grid monitor

  1. clivebest says:

    Thanks Euan,

    I am also keeping a long term log of the contribution that each fuel contributes to the daily peak energy demand. I think this is the best measure of energy security. At the same time I log the contribution to the lowest demand. There is one entry per day. Anyone who wants the log file back to September can get it from The columns are


    This is updated one a day at midnight.

    Suggest you use just one dial as the sidebar image to save space.



  2. Glen Mcmillian says:

    It appears that for the last couple of day the wind has supplied around two gigawatts. If I am not mistaken that is roughly the output of two ordinary nuclear or large gas fired plants.

    Does anybody here know how much it costs per day or per year to supply a gigawatt of power just for the imported gas at current prices?

    That would throw some light on the value of wind power.

    Here is a link to a paper by an American researcher indicating that the cost of gas fired electricity will double in terms of constant money here in the US by 2040 using federal govt data from the EIA due to the projected increase in gas prices.

    I have a gut feeling that the EIA is exceedingly optimistic in this respect.

    My own guess is that gas prices are going to go up a lot more than just one doubling ((unless prevented by inadequate income on the part of buyers or an unexpected boom in nuclear power) in two or three decades because of rising population and depletion of the resource.

    Even if use stabilizes or declines in rich western countries it will likely grow in developing countries enough to more than offset

    • Clive Best says:

      Yes – Sizewell B is just over 1 GW continuous power, while Hinkley C is designed with 2 reactors and an output of 3G.

      As far as I can work out all UK gas power stations burn a total of roughly 50 MSCM (million standard cubic meters) per day to generate an average 12 GW during most of the day. This is the same as 1775 billion BTU per day. Searching out LNG prices on the internet I find very roughly :

      Price of LNG gas is $5 per million BTU. This implies that UK Gas costs to generate electricity are 1775*1000*5 = $8.875 million per day or £5.5 million per working day (less at weekends)

      Therefore I roughly estimate that the annual fuel costs of running Gas power stations at around £1.5 billion/year

      Subsidies to wind farms are running at about £1.2 billion per year generating on average 3 GW per day. However unlike gas, the power delivery is unsynchronised to demand and quite often most power is generated at night.

  3. Leo Smith says:

    the original gridwatch (mine) now has a beta French grid site,.

    A well as an ‘any data you want/any period you want’ download page of data going back three years plus.

    It doesn’t need javascript to work either 😉

    Last time I looked it was running 2milion + hits a day.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Last time I looked it was running 2milion + hits a day.

      You got to be kidding?

      The French site doesn’t seem to be fully functional yet – most dials on zero.

    • Roger Andrews says:

      I can bring up the dials but I get a “not found” message when I click “download”.

    • Clive Best says:


      Your site is brilliant. I am only looking at an alternative graphic presentation which is indeed javascript HTML5. The background processing is independent.

      I have a perl script that stores the last 24 hours of data from BM reports (thanks to your link !). It runs on a cron job every hour so that the load on BM server is trivial. Then once a day at midnight, I run another cron job to calculate the peak demand during the day and the fuels which meet that demand. In my opinion peak demand is the crucial measure since wind power at night is essentially useless.

      A graph of last 24 hours is

      The last month of peak demand data is

      An analysis of last winter is

      I find that last winter wind averaged 6.6% of peak demand.

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