Tipping Point: Wind & Solar Chaos Forces Britain to Spend £1.5 Billion A Year Balancing Its Grid

If wind and solar are meant to be a ‘cure’, then it’s one that’s clearly worse than the disease. Touted everywhere as both reliable and cheap, the experience in Britain (and everywhere else for that matter) is all to the contrary. As night follows day, add chaotically intermittent wind and solar to your grid, and power prices rocket and the grid itself faces mortal threat.

Dr John Constable has been warning about the consequences for years. Here is laying it out, once again.

The Brink of Darkness: Britain’s Fragile Power Grid
The Global Warming Policy Foundation
John Constable
June 2020

Executive Summary

  • Steadily rising costs since 2002, and two major events in the last twelve months, one instantaneous and one still ongoing, have exposed the underlying and increasing weakness of the United Kingdom’s renewables-dominated electricity supply industry, requiring insupportably large injections of additional resources to patch the system and secure supply.
  • Since 2002, when renewables were introduced on a large scale, the cost of balancing the grid has risen from £367 million to £1.5 billion per year. This is largely due to measures to manage the intermittency of renewables, particularly wind and solar. Grid expansions, such as the £1 billion Western Link, to connect up far-flung windfarms, are also adding to consumer bills.
  • In spite of this expenditure, in August 2019 a lightning strike on the high voltage grid caused a loss of supply in London and other places affecting 1 million customers for over an hour, with knock-on effects that continued for weeks. Lightning strikes are common events and in a robust system would pass almost unnoticed.
  • This spring and summer, low demand resulting from the Covid-19 lockdown has further exposed the fundamental inflexibility and weakness in the UK electricity system. Measures to address the risks arising from the presence of uncontrollable renewables generators at times of low load may cost as much as £700 million over the period April to August alone.
  • In response, National Grid has invoked the possibility of compulsory and uncompensated disconnection for smaller generators, and introduced a new scheme to encourage flexibility in the renewables sector, but these measures will save only £200 million, leaving a £500 million bill still to be paid.
  • Even this is doubtful. Management costs over the 22–25 May Bank Holiday weekend amounted to over £50 million, including £18.9 million to reduce large-scale wind output, and up to £7 million to switch off smaller, ‘embedded‘ wind and solar generators. It is likely that these costs will have to continue for some time after August.
  • These measures are at least doubling the cost of supplying a unit of electrical energy to a consumer.
  • Generators and suppliers are unable quickly to increase their prices to recover this cost and they have successfully lobbied Ofgem to defer the bill until 2021–2022. This will further increase prices paid by consumers, who are already burdened by £10 billion per year of renewables subsidies. Post-Covid, these costs are insupportable.
  • In order to avoid prolonging and deepening the post-Covid recession, Government should immediately seek to reduce electricity system costs by suspending renewables support and instead should adopt a cost-minimisation policy focused on nuclear and on gas.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak and commented:
    If wind and solar are meant to be a ‘cure’, then it’s one that’s clearly worse than the disease. Touted everywhere as both reliable and cheap, the experience in Britain (and everywhere else for that matter) is all to the contrary. As night follows day, add chaotically intermittent wind and solar to your grid, and power prices rocket and the grid itself faces mortal threat.

    Dr John Constable has been warning about the consequences for years. Here is laying it out, once again.

  2. Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

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