The government plans to invest £42.5bn to build a high speed train connection between London and Birmingham. The peak electrical power consumption to run 14 trains/hour between London and Birmingham is ~350 MW (HS2 Traction Energy Modelling, Imperial College, 2009).
As I write this post the combined power output from the entire UK fleet of over 4000 on-shore and off-shore wind turbines is just 230 MW – a shortfall of 120MW to run HS2!
Lull periods for wind lasting several days are not unusual. They occur at least 3 times every month. Nor can the problem be solved by doubling the number of turbines because this amplifies power fluctuations on the grid reducing overall efficiency.
Wind power and HS2 are simply incompatible. This highlights the contradictions inherent in matching government energy policy to its economic policy.