Scottish Power says UK will need to boost capacity 

Posted: September 25, 2017 by oldbrew in Big Green, ideology, turbines, wind
Tags: , ,

Image credit: BBC Scotland

In the world of wishful thinking, everyone will drive wind-powered electric cars and run their homes entirely on electricity. In the real world wind power is variable from hour to hour, right down to near-zero sometimes. Relentless carpeting of the countryside with expensive wind turbines is unpopular with people living near them, but not with profit-chasing power companies.

Britain will need to boost its generation of electricity by about a quarter, Scottish Power has estimated. The energy firm said electric cars and a shift to electric heating could send demand for power soaring, reports BBC News.

Its chief executive also said there would have to be a major investment in the wiring necessary to handle rapid charging of car batteries.

Keith Anderson was speaking as the firm reached the milestone of 2,000 megawatts of wind power capacity. That equates to about an eighth of the British total.

The figure includes Whitelee wind farm, on Eaglesham Moor, south of Glasgow, which has more than 200 turbines. Believed to be Europe’s biggest wind farm, it is capable of generating enough power for all of Glasgow’s homes.

In the past 18 months, the Spanish-owned company has been installing nearly a quarter of the British total, but the pipeline of work is coming to an end. Attention is turning to offshore wind.

But Mr Anderson told BBC Scotland there would have to be a renewed surge in the building of onshore wind turbines if consumer demand was to be met. He warned that past experience with technology change had shown consumers could make the move faster than governments or companies expect.

Once the price of electric cars falls to that of petrol or diesel, which it is thought will happen between 2022 and 2025, there could be a rapid shift in buying patterns and electricity usage.

Earlier this month, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a target of shifting from petrol and diesel-fuelled cars to battery power by 2032, while the UK government intends to make that shift by 2040.

Continued here.

  1. Tim Hammond says:

    Sturgeon appears to want to meet her target for cars by making so many Scottish people so poor that they won’t be able to afford to own or run any car at all.

    I suspect Venezuela is pretty near that point.

  2. oldbrew says:

    All UK taxpayers are subsidizing Scottish wind power developments.

    And there is or has been some trickery going on…

  3. Saighdear says:

    Huh, yes, had to suffer listening to it yesterday morning before a late breakfast. TODAY @ Lunchtime, –>UK Demand 37.56GW @ 49.936 Hz; Production WIND 1.38GW; New CLEAR stuff 7.28GW ; BLACK Coal stuff 2.87GW – what does that NOT Tell you? all as taken from Gridwatch…

  4. oldmanK says:

    Q: “UK Demand 37.56GW @ 49.936 Hz;” You are running a slow clock. 🙂


    This story is several years old, what about now? Did they ever generate and transmit enough power to pay for the diesel fuel?

    This is about making rich people richer at the expense of tax payers.

  6. ivan says:

    There is one way to solve that problem – make every wind farm owner build a real (coal, gas turbine, nuclear) power station with at least the same capacity as said wind farm but without subsidies for it. They should then be able to make up the shortfall for their contracted output.

    If they did that I could see the wind turbines being shut down permanently which would be a ‘good thing’.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Meanwhile we stretch the much-maligned baseload resources ever thinner by not replacing the recently retired power stations.

  8. The Badger says:

    Major investment in the wiring:

    I live in a dispersed rural hamlet of 21 properties. I did the calculations for the cost to upgrade the LV (240V) section of the distribution . This excludes the cost of consumer side wiring upgrades. For our little hamlet the cost in going all electric for just cars would be of the order of £400,000 or a shade under £20K per property. If electric heating were a factor then this would of course increase.

    As it took the supply co. over 3 years to give us more than 189 volts when the electric shower was on the same time as the cooker I don’t really hold out much hope.

    Anyway looks like investing in copper futures might just help you afford the £1/kWhr tariff between 6 pm and 6 am coming in the new leccy car future!

  9. oldbrew says:

    Badger – diesel generator 😉

  10. Nick Perrin. says:

    This posting intrigues me for another reason. The company says we need to boost our generating capacity to cover the potential (early) increase in demand for electricity for cars and heating. No suggestion that I could see as to what power source would be used or when it can be provided.
    I think they are revealing the cleft stick to Gov now faces. That want all renewables and all electric asap. But they can’t have both. How to square the circle?
    Maybe the Gov is actually siting on the razor they are about to slide down. Ouch!

  11. oldbrew says:

    Rupert Darwall writes:
    The Government is gambling with the future security of our energy supply
    Offshore wind developers are queueing up to low-ball bids
    We’re about to be swamped with renewable energy propaganda

    What we’re saying to the politicians, regulators and customers is: let’s keep going – this [wind power] has been a huge success,” Scottish Power’s Keith Anderson gushed yesterday. It certainly has been for Mr Anderson and Scottish Power’s Spanish parent Iberdrola SA. You’ll be hard pressed to find more expensive electricity today than that being produced by Mr Anderson’s wind farms.
    . . .
    [The system] systematically favours the lowest quality, highest risk bidder.

    The winner of the wind-power game won’t be the consumer

  12. oldbrew says:

    Some politicians seem to wilfully ignore the need for reliable electricity, and promote
    wind and solar. As physicist Howard Hayden has commented:

    “Power from wind varies dramatically with wind speed, as anybody can tell by merely looking at the power curves from any turbine manufacturer on the planet. If the wind speed increases from 10 mph to 20 mph, the power increases by a cool factor of eight. If the wind speed drops from 20 mph to 10 mph, the power it produces drops by 87.5%. Such variations are at odds with the necessity of keeping the grid voltage constant within a few percent, and the frequency constant within 0.03%. In the electricity business, stability is the key ingredient.”

    Not experienced in physical issues, some politicians might readily endorse schemes where the instability is hidden; their failure to perceive the fatal limitation of wind power is one such example. [bold added]

  13. oldbrew says:

    Labour party wants at least 60% renewables in UK by 2030.

    But do they mean 60% capacity or 60% generation? And do they understand or care that ‘If the wind speed drops from 20 mph to 10 mph, the power it produces drops by 87.5%’? Or that solar in the UK only works for a small percentage of every 24 hours?

  14. ivan says:

    Unfortunately oldbrew we have an almost total lack of technically based politicians.

    Most of the politicians of today are high on emotions and totally lack any critical thinking and this trend has carried through to the civil service.

    There is little or no hope of parliament producing a workable solution to producing reliable base load power because they don’t know what base load is.

  15. oldbrew says:

    You have to wonder who, if anyone, renewables-crazed politicians listen to when it comes to electricity generation.

    Their heads seem to be in the clouds imagining some utopia that will never happen – unless or until the laws of physics change.

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