Article in IET queries role of wind power and balancing costs in the UK

David Millborrow is a Claverton participant….

Thanks to Hugh Sharman for forwarding this piece.

This article from David Millborrow seems to pretty much demolish this article..




” Today, the UK is committed to European Union targets to deliver 35 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2020.

Starting from a base of around 5 per cent, this is an ambitious target with a good many ramifications. Perhaps the greatest of all is over how many gigawatts the UK’s electricity grid can reasonably integrate, given most of the 35 per cent will have to be intermittent wind power.

So far, the debate has been fairly academic because the UK still only has 3.2GW of wind turbines working at around a 25 per cent load factor. Load-balancing a shortfall of up to 800MW – a near-negligible 2 per cent of average demand – when the UK can draw on a theoretical 75GW of power stations is no big deal.

That all changes massively if future projections are to be believed. According to a recent scenario by the National Grid, there will be 19.4GW of offshore wind and 12.9GW of onshore wind, delivering 98TWh in 2020.

Not everyone believes that such targets are achievable – far from it. But the debate on load-balancing wind has come a long way since 2003. The leading authority on intermittency and wind at the time was David Milborrow, and his views shaped prevailing opinion on the matter.”

For full article see

One comment on “Article in IET queries role of wind power and balancing costs in the UK

  1. A rather weak effort I thought. No mention of the Earthscan book which looked at all this is detail, or of the UKERC report, which looked at dozens of studies. The debate ( e.g. in CEG) has in any case moved on- now we are discussing whether wind or nuclear will have to be curtailed during low demand periods, if we have large amounts of both on the gird ; and whether a supergird can provide effective balancing across the EU. Storage may eventually provide part of an answer, but back up using biomass is far easier, as the University of Kassel Combined Power system study suggested. All this gets discussed (ad nauseam!) in Renew-

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