While the alt-energy promoters are busy telling (and selling) their story, often with confusing and sometimes misleading claims (such as promoting the name plate power installed rather than the actual amount of power these new devices will actually generate) the simple fact remains that alt-energy intermittency is a big issue.
This week saw a huge drop in wind power in the UK:
17 July 2018
Britain is experiencing a “wind drought” that has slowed or halted the blades on turbines around the country.
July’s wind energy output so far is down 40 per cent when compared to the same period last year – despite more wind turbines having been installed in the interim, according to new figures.
“We’ve been typically doing between 2 to 3 gigawatts of wind [generation],” says Rob Gross of Imperial College London, which complied the data, “At a windier time of the year we might be doing 9 or 10.”
An unusually prolonged period of high pressure is to blame for the drought, says Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the UK Met Office.
The jet stream has remained further north, meaning an area of dense, high pressure air over the UK hasn’t budged.
“It’s like a lid, it keeps everything still,” says Madge. “From the forecast looking out over the next couple of weeks, there doesn’t seem to be any significant change on the way.”
A 40% decline in wind power compared to last year is a big deal. Hey, the wind will pick back up, but events like this should help keep people focused on the fact that sometimes the wind doesn’t blow and sun doesn’t shine.
That’s just life. It also should drive home the point that alt-energy is really not suited to baseload generations, something everybody in the business knows but which a lot of non-industry people are unaware.