Wind Power steps up when nuclear and gas go offline

Written by HV Wooding on 30th October 2014



Strong wind speeds over the last month especially the weekend 18th-19th  October, contributed significantly to the UK’s electricity supply as nuclear reactors remained offline and a large gas plant was suddenly hit by a fire. Wind power set a new record on Sunday 19th by providing 24% of the UK’s electricity supply for the entire day. The previous record stood at 22% of total generation in August this year.

Wind’s consistently strong performance saw it outperform nuclear power from Friday evening throughout the whole weekend and into Monday morning. This also led to a number of coal plants being taken offline as they were surplus to requirements, which is a step in the correct direction to ensure the UK is preforming as per the EU targets.

Wind power set a new peak record of generating 7,998 megawatts (MW) over a half-hour period at midday on Saturday once local turbines are factored in, according to National Grid statistics. This is the equivalent of powering 17 million homes, based on average consumption in October. A sudden drop in gas power was caused by a fire at Didcot B power station, which has a capacity of up to 1,360MW, equivalent to the needs of a million homes. There are also four nuclear plants (nine reactors) currently offline due to unplanned outages and refuelling, which has removed 5,303MW of generating capacity from the system.

This proves that Wind power is the most likely alternative to gas and nuclear power showing it can cope with the short fall when required. This will hopefully boost more interest in investing with the area.