It’s been cold in the UK the last few days. Monday 19th January was the coldest day of the year when temperatures dropped to -13˚C in parts of central Scotland. It’s been beautiful clear, cold, calm weather.
At 14:05 on 19th January the output from the UK’s 11.99 GW fleet of wind turbines dropped to 0.191 GW. This is effectively zero and it’s hard to believe it could get so low given that 4 GW are off shore. This translates to a wind load factor of 0.016 – effectively zero.
Nuclear was working flat out and so was coal more or less. Gas peaked at 22.5 GW around 17:00. I don’t know if that is peak capacity but it’s notable that the UK has been using its pumped storage throughout the day and especially to cover peak demand. Hydro has also been run 24/7 which is not usual for the UK.
For the 24 hour period, wind provided 1.9% of UK electricity. The cold and calm conditions have continued into today.
I just happened to grab this plot from Clive Best at about 17:00 yesterday, corroborating all of the above.
The pressure chart from the BBC shows why it was so calm with a ridge of high pressure in charge of the UK. Notably there seems to be very little wind across the whole of Northern Europe.
With cold and calm conditions continuing into today and spread across much of northern Europe, it will be interesting to see what resources are available at peak demand today, that’s in about 5 hours time.