Tag Archives: wind power

UK Wind Constraint Payments

Electricity generation from wind power has grown dramatically in the UK in recent years (Figure 2) and so has the challenge to balance the grid, especially when it is very windy. One of the balancing tactics deployed by National Grid is to pay wind farms to switch off when it is windy. This cost, borne by the consumer, is called a constraint payment. In 2015, UK consumers forked out £90 million to pay subsidy driven wind farms to switch off.

The amount of UK wind that is constrained is growing with the level of penetration. At 10% wind penetration, 6% of the wind power available is constrained. Continue reading

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El Hierro August 2016 performance update

During August the hybrid wind-hydro Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant achieved 55.6% renewables generation, higher than the 47.9% achieved in August 2015 but lower than the 65.9% achieved in July. The decrease relative to July was a caused by wind lulls and the increase relative to 2015 was a result of two periods of 100% renewables generation totalling 79 hours. Total renewables generation since full operations began at GdV in June 2015 is now 38.7%, up from 37.8% at the beginning of the month. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 128

This week we focus on Germany’s Energiewende followed by turning the C in CCS into rock, further job losses expected in UK oil and gas, forecast decline in non-OPEC oil supplies, England not windy enough, unscheduled global oil supply disruptions, more US oil patch bankruptcies, Westinghouse to build nuclear plants in India, Sweden goes nuclear again, Finland to build another nuclear plant, “incident” shuts down Tihange plant, signs of recovery in coal, Brexit to cause loss of UK energy sovereignty, ENSO events influence global temperatures for hundreds of years. Continue reading

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El Hierro – a change in operating procedures

The Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant on the Canary Island of El Hierro is a flagship project designed ultimately to provide the island with 100% renewable electricity and to demonstrate that hybrid wind/pumped hydro systems can be used to generate 100% renewable electricity in other parts of the world. This short post documents a change in operating procedures at Gorona del Viento (GdV) that occurred shortly after 7am on May 16th (yesterday as I write). Continue reading

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Commercial Measures to Reduce the Cost of Wind Integration in the Island of Ireland

Guest post by Riccardo Carollo of Incoteco ApS

This report provides a comprehensive description of the Irish electricity generating system and how it is evolving to cope with ever higher levels of intermittent wind power. Of particular interest, the report contains information on actual generation for specific power stations and shows how their use has declined between 2010 and 2015. The report also describes commercial / technical solutions to efficiently deal with the load balancing issue. Neither I nor Energy Matters have any commercial relationship with the companies involved: Incoteco ApS, Rolls Royce plc or Ormat inc. Continue reading

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EU and BP Renewable Electricity Accounting Methodologies

Every EU country has a renewable energy target to be met by 2020 where the target is set as a percentage of total energy consumption. Since most countries are using combinations of hydro, solar and wind electricity (primary electricity) to achieve their targets, one needs a way of comparing primary electricity with energy from coal, oil and gas etc. The standard way adopted by the EU and by BP is to convert all forms of energy to tonnes of oil equivalent (toe). If coal, oil or gas is used to make electricity then there are large thermal losses doing so. BP correctly account for this by grossing up renewable electricity by a factor of 100/38 to account for “thermal gain” when converting from primary electricity to a fossil fuel equivalent. The EU do not appear to do this, thus all of EU renewable electricity statistics appear to be wrong. This is no trivial matter given the many billions being spent by countries trying to achieve their targets. Continue reading

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El Hierro – now up to 41 hours of 100% renewables generation

The El Hierro GdV project produced 100% renewables generation between 1 am on February 14 and 17.40 on February 15. But still enough to eclipse the 33 hours of 100% renewables generation achieved at King Island, Tasmania, last November. So congratulations to the GdV project staff. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 111

This week’s Blowout features the US supreme court’s surprise decision to block Obama’s clean power plan and how it might cause the Paris Climate Accord to unravel. Below the fold a message from US shale producers to OPEC, China’s meltdown-proof reactor, wind and solar in the EU, South Australia, Scotland, California and Morocco, the CSIRO layoffs, the Rugely shutdown, Scotland’s dwindling tax revenues, Swansea Bay tidal takes a hit, Friends of the Earth in trouble over anti-fracking campaign, WWF accused of “involvement in violence & abuse”, the waning El Niño, Christians give up fossil fuels for Lent and UK rig workers no longer fit through escape hatches. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 108

This week’s lead story speculates that climate change killed off all the aliens. It is an award-winner even by climate change standards, but I’m not sure what the award should be. Suggestions are solicited. Below the fold more on OPEC and the Middle East, oil industry job losses, Obama concerned about methane emissions, wind overwhelms Merkel, Hinkley doubts and the Greens want to shut down the North Sea. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 107

This week’s Blowout features one of the few projected benefits of anthropogenic global warming – it will postpone the onset of the next ice age “by at least 100,000 years”. One assumes our descendants will be duly grateful. Thirty-four more informative stories below the fold in a bumper blowout. Continue reading

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El Hierro Renewable Energy Project – End 2015 Performance Review and Summary

The Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant on the Canary Island of El Hierro is a flagship project designed ultimately to provide the island with 100% renewable electricity and to demonstrate that hybrid wind/pumped hydro systems can be used to generate 100% renewable electricity in other parts of the world.

The data accumulated since full operations began on June 27, 2015 are sufficient to show that the GdV plant as presently structured is not capable of supplying 100% of El Hierro’s electricity demand for 100% of the time.
Continue reading

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The Wind in Spain Blows …..

Pan European lulls in the wind are common place. Sweden, Denmark, UK, France, Germany and Spain have combined 97.9 GW of installed wind. But on occasions in September and October 2015 produced less than 3 GW. The only way to mitigate for this variability is back up from other sources. Building inter connectors cannot solve this problem at the pan-European scale. Continue reading

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Red Eléctrica de España

Spanish electricity data with hourly resolution is presented for the months of September and October. Wind in Spain is balanced mainly by varying coal output with a little help from gas and a tiny amount of help from hydro. Imports and exports are not used at all in the gross balancing exercise. Hydro is used to balance solar and to follow diurnal demand. The Green fantasy of using grid interconnectivity and hydro to balance variable wind is not being put into practice in Spain. Continue reading

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A Big Gale

With the UK Met Office starting to name storms it is refreshing to see that there is at least one person who works there that has a sense of humour. Wind blowing nowhere is now giving way to the winter storm … Continue reading

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Wind Blowing Nowhere – Again

The central question lies in the wisdom of distributed power generation. Generating your own wind power down on the farm or solar power on your two bedroom semi’s roof may sound like a great back to nature green solution to electricity production. That is until the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine and your dependency is shifted to the owner of the 3000 mile long, 200 GW HVDC power line to Saudi Arabia. Is it not better to be dependent upon the 100 mile long, 1 GW power line to your local nuclear or gas fired power station? Continue reading

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El Hierro Renewable Energy Project – October 2015 Performance Review

The Gorona del Viento (GdV) renewable energy plant on the Canary Island of El Hierro is a flagship project designed ultimately to provide the island with 100% renewable electricity and to consign its diesel generators to history. GdV comprises a wind park with 11.5 MW capacity and a pumped hydro storage plant with 11.3MW capacity, installed at a total cost of €84 million. Since operations began in June of this year the plant has not performed up to expectations. This is the second in a series of operational updates. Continue reading

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Chira-Soria – Another Flawed Renewables Project

To the east of El Hierro, where the Gorona del Viento wind-pumped hydro project has attracted international attention, Gran Canaria is developing a wind-solar-pumped hydro project that has so far attracted very little attention outside Gran Canaria. Continue reading

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UK Wind Farm Constraint Payments

Constraint payments for UK windfarms occasionally hit the headlines. At times when there is more wind electricity being generated than the UK grid can handle, wind producers are paid to disconnect from the grid. Renewables enthusiasts will argue this is a small price to pay for Green Electricity while sceptics are riled by the £53 million pounds paid to wealthy landowners in 2014 for not producing electricity. Continue reading

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UK Electricity Supply, September 2015

According to DECC, the UK had 10.9 GW of installed wind at end May 2015. At 08:35 on 26th September this massive wind park managed to produce 0.134 GW. That works out at 1.2% load. The maximum for the month was 5.3 GW, 48.6% load, at 06:05 on 12th September. The average wind load for the month was 16%. Continue reading

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Another Visit to El Hierro

An analysis of the El Hierro island electric data found on the Red Eléctrica de España site for the period from June 26 to August 31, 2015 shows that the renewable contributions have covered 49.5 % of the electric demand of the island. It also shows that with the present wind plus storage system this renewable fraction can’t exceed 80.1%. Neither the capacity of the smaller reservoir of the pumping system, the power of the pumps, nor their efficiencies appears to be the limiting factor. Increasing the active wind power appears as the most effective option to reach a higher renewable fraction. Continue reading

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