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Anorak | The glory of green energy: only three years until the lights go out

The glory of green energy: only three years until the lights go out

by | 9th, October 2012

WELL isn’t this an interesting how d’ye do then?  It would appear that we’ve a more than just minor chance of the lights going out in about three years’ time :

The UK risks energy shortages by 2015 or 2016, energy regulator Ofgem has predicted. The shortages will primarily be caused by EU environmental legislation forcing the early closure of coal and oil-fired power stations, it said.

Its first annual Capacity Assessment [93-page / 1.9MB PDF] projects that electricity margins, or the amount of spare generation capacity on the system, could fall from 14 per cent today to 4 per cent over the next three years. The figures are based on joint modelling by the regulator and the National Grid. Ofgem is required under the Energy Act to report annually to Parliament on the availability of electricity and gas for meeting the reasonable demands of consumers in the UK.

Do note that this is not from some grouping of mad right wing loons who want to see Gaia burn. This is Ofgem, the official peeps tasked with monitoring and regulating the electricity generation system.

And the problem is that 4% is less than the amount of energy that is planned to come from windmills. So, in order to keep the lights on we’ve got to have windmills producing.

Ah, but, guess when is the UK’s highest energy demand? Yup, that’s right, it’s on cold winter’s days. And what is it that causes a cold winter day in the UK? It’s when an arctic high pressure area moves over the country and sits there. And what comes along with such a high pressure area? No wind. Nowt, none at all that can be turned into ‘leccie.

So, the actual system we’ll need, the windmills, to fill the system on the days

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Posted: 9th, October 2012 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink