SSE’s renewable energy output drops almost a third – due to wrong type of weather

Posted: September 29, 2021 by oldbrew in Big Green, Energy, Natural Variation, Uncertainty, weather, wind
Tags: ,
North Wales coast wind turbines

Windy enough today?

Weather conditions can vary year on year, but ‘some of the poorest wind conditions in the North Sea for more than two decades’ probably wasn’t on anyone’s list of scenarios. As a result the not-so wondrous wind turbines are under-performing, and with less electricity to sell comes less profit so shareholders won’t be impressed either. What will next year bring? Place bets now!
– – –
SSE’s renewable energy output over spring and summer was almost a third lower than planned, as low winds and dry weather combined with high gas prices to push up energy prices, reports the Financial Times (via Swiftheadline).

The FTSE 100 energy supplier said on Wednesday its wind and hydro output between April 1 and September 22 was 32 per cent beneath its target — equivalent to an 11 per cent hit to its full-year production forecast.

The summer was “one of the least windy across most of the UK and Ireland and one of the driest in SSE’s hydro catchment areas in the last 70 years”, the company said in a statement.

SSE’s update is the latest sign of how unfavourable weather conditions are hitting the renewables sector.

It comes as a global gas shortage, a rebound in energy demand after coronavirus lockdown restrictions and some of the poorest wind conditions in the North Sea for more than two decades have propelled UK and continental European energy prices this month to their highest ever levels.

Full report here.

  1. Saighdear says:

    Unfavorable? some of us were pleased to get some work done on stable seas. On the Land we hd wind ( Very strong ) when none was forecast. As I’ve said manys a time: look at for a kwik & simple local watch. Anyonein their their right minds, or working in SOMEONE Else’s pocket, should not be spending more £££££ on windmills or solar. WHen the wind don’t blow, that’s it … and when the battery’s gone flat, it’s like crying over spillt milk / water under the bridge: Power / re-charging chance has GONE …. FORGET IT

  2. Gamecock says:

    ‘global gas shortage’

    Europe’s shortage does not make a global shortage.

  3. cognog2 says:

    I placed my bet month or so ago as I signed up to a 2 year fixed price tariff which with many doubts involved a doubling of my direct debit payments. My own views on the state of our grid and the policies being projected prompted the bet. I also thought that my energy supplier knew things I was not aware of.
    It will interesting but no doubt expensive to see how it all pans out.

  4. A greater focus on point of use power, and perhaps more utilization of digesters and other means for increasing not necessarily the production, but the trapping and use of natural gas seems like it would create at least some tangible benefit.

  5. tomo says:


    the UK’s digestors are as I understand it reliant on subsidised maize to produce subsidised gas and in some cases ethanol…. I feel the whole “collecting food waste” thing is a giant virtue signalling fig leaf.

    One digester near me had a 10T diesel truck touring the south coast collecting stuff to ferment – I did wonder what the cost / benefit was and wondered if it ran on biodiesel….

    I feel it’s a near certainty that digestors as presently constituted are taxpayer money pits – since if they actually turned even a small profit – the PR goons that infest all things renewable would be endlessly warbling about how wunnerful it all is?

    I’ve yet to see a set of financial accounts or an energy budget for any of these enterprises.

  6. JB says:

    “What will next year bring? ”

    Damaging storms that will knock out a significant portion of the sea turbine infrastructure

  7. tom0mason says:

    OK lets say the next couple of years have perfect wind conditions and all the maintenance gets done. This perfection in wind generation filling more the demand, leading to more fossil fueled generation is made unprofitable, so more are mothballed or scrapped.
    And then comes the next lull.
    Then what?
    Begging for more French, Dutch, anyone’s interconnector to supply, begging Mr. Putin for yet more gas to be burned in foreign built gas generators?
    For an island nation with coal, gas,oil and nuclear the UK shows itself to be poor at making and managing the long term RELIABLE electricity generation.

  8. oldbrew says:

    They say nuclear power will be a big thing in the UK by 2040, or is it 2050, or…??

  9. oldbrew says:

    Not just Britain…

    Germany: Coal tops wind as primary electricity source

    In the first half of 2021, coal shot up as the biggest contributor to Germany’s electric grid, while wind power dropped to its lowest level since 2018. Officials say the weather is partly to blame.
    – – –
    Coal shutdown still a good idea?

  10. oldbrew says:

    It was also too dry for SSE’s hydropower assets in Scotland.

    Output from SSE Renewables’ assets was down 32% between April and September, the company confirmed

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