BBC overlooks lack of wind: ‘Drought highlights dangers for electricity supplies’

Posted: August 13, 2022 by oldbrew in Energy, Temperature, weather, wind
Tags: ,

Hornsea wind project

At least they admit solar panels don’t like too much sun: ‘work much less well in high temperatures’. But high pressure systems often mean very low wind speeds.
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The ongoing drought in the UK and Europe is putting electricity generation under pressure, say experts.

Electricity from hydropower – which uses water to generate power – has dropped by 20% overall, says BBC News.

And nuclear facilities, which are cooled using river water, have been restricted.

There are fears that the shortfalls are a taste of what will happen in the coming winter.

In the UK, high temperatures are hitting energy output from fossil, nuclear and solar sources.

That is because the technology in power plants and solar panels work much less well in high temperatures.

The prolonged dry spell is putting further pressure on energy supplies as Europe scrambles for alternative sources after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Hydropower is an important source of energy for Europe, but the lack of water in rivers and reservoirs is now significantly reducing the ability of facilities to produce electricity.

Italy gets around 1/5 of its power from hydro, but that’s fallen by around 40% in the past 12 months.
. . .
Countries, including the UK and France, rely on each other’s electricity markets.

“If both French and UK systems are in stress at the same time, then nobody really knows what will happen”.

Full article here.
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  1. oldbrew says:

    Nuclear isn’t going to find river waters too warm in winter.

  2. oldbrew says:

    BBC: ‘Analysts say this is putting additional pressure on the UK system – at a time when the very warm weather is hitting production from gas and nuclear facilities.’

    Gas was providing half of UK electricity this morning, wind <4%. Not hard to see which one is under-performing.

  3. Gamecock says:

    ‘There are fears that the shortfalls are a taste of what will happen in the coming winter.’

    Everything will not be okay next spring. The coming winter is only the beginning.

  4. Stuart Brown says:

    “In the UK, high temperatures are hitting energy output from fossil, nuclear and solar sources.”

    There are just 9 UK operational nuclear reactors left now, and all are on the coast, so warm rivers or lack of water isn’t an issue. One reactor is refuelling, and another down for graphite inspection. The rest appear to be running full tilt. I think they made that bit up about nuclear.

  5. MrGrimNasty says:

    As I posted elsewhere, another desperate BBC twist of the facts. The joke was that solar PV was actually making the vast majority 17% of solar/hydro/wind 21% combined. And obviously nuclear and gas were doing the real work. BBC with pants ablaze shocker.

  6. Graeme No.3 says:

    Half a lie, Half a lie,
Half a lie downwards,

    All in the Despair of Doom
    Not even half a truth
Into the valley of Doom
Raced the six blunderers.

  7. Saighdear says:

    Hmm, THink EVERYONE should take note of the plight of the fish in the disappearing streams and the Heron at the Poolside ….. Just like the WindNills and the disappearing winds..
    Meanwhile it is Cool / cold and damp & dull ( Sea-haar till Lunchtime – not much PV power here then either. )

  8. Coeur de Lion says:

    As I write a full week without significant wind. And isobars thinly spread all over Europe. Billions of pounds and euros in subsidies. A poor bargain. The BBC should run a campaign.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Gas 62%, wind 4% for UK electricity generation at the moment.

    And the BBC thinks fossil fuels have got heat problems 😂

  10. oldbrew says:

    The 1540 Megadrought in Europe: Rhine ran dry, fires burned, and no one blamed coal or beef steak
    August 14th, 2022

    The whole decade of the 1530s was filled with drought but the worst drought was 1540.

  11. cognog2 says:

    For info: From my records between the 6 to 15th. August the U.K. WIND INDUSTRY produced an average of 60 GWHs per day. My share of that energy being one divided by 64 million U.K. citizens being 941 WATTHRS. Which wouldn’t boil my kettle.

    The government threat to double or more, our Wind generating Capacity at vast expense it seems wouldn’t even get my dishwasher going, without a lot of help from fossil fuels.

    Forget Climate Change — Worry about that instead.

  12. Stuart Brown says:

    Cognog2, yes, with you there. But my 3kW kettle boils a pint of water in a minute. Either you have one seriously big kettle or you need to invest in some descaler! 🙂

  13. oldbrew says:

    Policy now is to use ‘incentives’ to reduce demand when power is in short supply, weather-related or not. That replaces having adequate reliable generation capacity.

    Like lack of road building, the approach is to throttle demand as far as possible, not try to meet it.

  14. Saighdear says:

    If drought highlights dangers for supply, what about demand? Demand like this: and then a Program Last night with Dr Iain Stewart on Scottish Lochs and Powerstations: Pumped storage ….. Needingthe scarce wind to re-fill the lochs – ‘Sorry can’t charge your cars yet’ ….

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