UK proponents of wind power quote capacity figures of 6.3GW for the onshore fleet of 4,074 turbines and even more GW for offshore wind. The reality is somewhat different and is unfortunately becoming incompatible with other infrastructure aspirations of the government such as HS2. I am a fan of the gridwatch web site which was the first to clarify the actual power delivery from wind, fossil fuel and nuclear. However I wanted to make a simpler graphic which compares the contributions over the last 24 hours from different fuel sources to the UK’s total electricity supply (the National Grid). DECC policy calls for a doubling of wind capacity by 2020 which although it may enrich a small number of energy companies,wealthy landowners, and keep the green lobby happy – will do very little to increase energy security. Judge for yourself.
Now lets see how wind power meets up to the challenge of an electric transport future and what could be better than High Speed Train 2 (HS2) – the incredibly expensive trophy project supported by all major political parties for completion in 2032. Since by then DECC’s policy is to 80% “decarbonise” the economy surely their “pedestal” renewable (wind) should at least be able to power HS2 - but is it even capable of doing that ?
The graphs are made using RGraph and HTML5-Ajax. The data is from BM Reports.