The ideological push to increase UK wind energy as a means to reach “net zero” is bound to fail. The reason for this is simple. The more wind capacity we add to the grid so the more gas backup capacity we need when it fails. Each winter we have wind lulls associated with cold high pressure weather. This winter was no exception with a three week long windless period. We only managed to keep the lights on by running all our gas stations at full output and firing up the few remaining coal power stations. Only gas is flexible enough to be able to balance wind output. The war in Ukraine has increased gas prices by over 200% so our preference for wind energy is getting very expensive, and as things stand we also cannot permanently close our few remaining coal stations. Solar energy is also negligible in winter for the UK..
The balancing act that gas plays in allowing wind farms to have preferential connection to the grid can be seen below.
So what is the solution? Batteries?
A simple calculation of the energy needed to be stored shows just how impossible that is. To power UK off batteries for 2 weeks would need more than 10000 GWh of energy. That is the equivalent energy of 8.7 Mtons of TNT !
The only way to decarbonise the Grid is to use mainly Nuclear Energy. To pretend otherwise is either because you have a vested interest in wind, or because you believe in green fairy stories.