This is the second in the series chronicling the electricity generation statistics for the UK. December 2014 is here. Wind had a good month and blew consistently strongly for much of the time. But for a four day period 19th to 22nd January we had an Arctic anticyclone, cold weather and the wind hardly blew at all. Combined cycle gas turbines provided most of the load balancing service throughout the month and the back up power during the 4 day wind lull.
Figure 1 Nuclear, coal, gas and wind power provided 90% of UK electricity in January. CCGTs and to a lesser extent coal provided most of the load balancing service. Click on charts for a large version that will open in a new browser window.
Figure 2 This chart shows clearly how CCGTs stepped into the breach during the 4 day wind lull. Coal and nuclear, I presume, were already producing at maximum load.
Figure 3 The production share in January 2015 is virtually identical to December 2014.
Figure 4 Total generation was 28.5 TWh up from 27.4 TWh in December.
Figure 5 This table plots the maximum and minimum generation and timing. Summing maximum gives a handle on the total generation possible in the UK that stands at 65.8 MW, comfortably in excess of peak demand that was 53.5 GW at 17:30 on 19 Jan. Deducting wind from the total leaves 59.1 GW, still comfortably above peak demand from dispatchable sources. The peak generation from nuclear, ccgt and pumped hydro storage were all associated with the 4 day wind lull. Note that wind dropped to a mere 188 MW at 14:00 on 19th January.