National Grid's views on 36% wind in UK power generation mix

Dear all,
Regarding the concerns expressed in this dialogue (on the claverton mailing list – ed) regarding the intermittency of wind and the risk to the transmission network of having a large percentage of wind generation on the network.
The National Grid has in the last year established what it calls its “Gone Green” scenario, which is its vision for the energy mix required for 2020 in order to meet the UK’s renewables targets.  The key headlines of this scenario are:
·         A generation scenario consistent with achieving the UK’s stated target of 15% of the UK’s energy to be produced from renewable energy sources by 2020, which corresponds to a total electricity generation of 147TWh annually by 2020 (36% of electricity supply).
·         Three scenarios for total renewable generation in Scotland, from a low of 6.6GW installed capacity, to a middle of 8GW and a high of 11.4GW. 
·         For the scenarios with Scotland contributing less than 11.4GW, offshore wind in England and Wales was increased to compensate and ensure an annual generation of 147TWh.
·         ALL 8GW of R1 and R2 offshore wind projects is assumed to be connected by 2020
·         Offshore windfarm capacity in England and Wales by 2020 is assumed to be 21-25GW (i.e. 13-17GW from Round 3)
·         TWO new nuclear plants are assumed to be on line, each with a capacity of 3.3GW – these are Hinkley Point plus one of either Sizewell, Bradwell or Wylfa.
Generation Type 2009/10 2020/21
Coal 28.4 19.8
Nuclear 10.4 6.9
Gas 27.5 34.6
Oil 3.4 0
Pumped storage 2.7 2.7
Wind 2.4 29.4
Interconnectors 2.1 4.2
Hydro 1.0 1.1
Other 1.3 2.5
Total 79.2 101.2

Following this, National Grid led a working group as part of the Energy Network Strategy Group (ENSG) to establish the required network reinforcement to connect the “Gone Green” generation portfolio.  I would recommend reading this report, at the following link:
In the last few days, National Grid has published a consultation on “Operating the Electricity Transmission Networks in 2020”, which is their route-map for how they believe the technical challenges of such a generation portfolio can be met to both meet the UK renewable energy targets and maintain security of supply.  Note that this is without any significant interconnection to Europe above and beyond that already installed or in planning – any additional interconnection would likely reduce the technical challenge.
I would suggest that those who have concerns about the stability of the UK transmission network with significant proportions of renewable generation online read how National Grid (the transmission network operators) believe they can meet this challenge, and respond to the current consultation (closing date 12th August) with your concerns.
Hope this is of interest.
David Flood
David Flood
Project Manager, Offshore Wind
Statkraft UK Limited

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Statkraft UK Limited
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