19 June 2017 2017 12:16 PM GMT

Wind Power Can Provide Energy On Coldest Days: Met Office, Imperial College

A new study by climate scientists – published in the journal Environmental Research Letters – has advanced the understanding of the potential for wind power to provide energy during the coldest spells of winter weather. The team, which involved scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre, Imperial College London and the University of Reading, compared wind power availability with electricity demand in winter and they found an interesting result.

Hazel Thornton, of the Met Office Hadley Centre, is one of the paper’s authors. She said: “During winter in the UK, warmer periods are often windier, while colder periods are more calm, due to the prevailing weather patterns. Consequently, we find that in winter as temperatures fall, and electricity demand increases, average wind energy supply reduces. “However, contrary to what is often believed, when it comes to the very coldest days, with highest electricity demand, wind energy supply starts to recover”. The team found that during the highest 5% of energy demand days, one-third produce more wind power than the winter average. Click here for video

Hazel added: “The very coldest days are associated with a mix of different weather patterns, some of which produce high winds in parts of the UK. For example, very high pressure over Scandinavia and lower pressure over Southern Europe, blows cold continental air from the east over the UK, giving high demand, but also high wind power. In contrast, winds blowing from the north, such as happened during December 2010, typically give very high demand but lower wind power supply.”

The research suggests that a spread of turbines across Great Britain would make the most of the varied wind patterns associated with the coldest days – maximising power supply during high demand conditions. Results also suggest that during high demand periods offshore wind power provides a more secure supply compared to onshore, as offshore wind is sustained at higher levels.

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, of the University of Reading and Chair of Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment, is one of the paper’s other authors. He said: “A wind power system distributed around the UK is not as sensitive to still cold winter days as often imagined. The average drop in generation is only a third and it even picks up for the days with the very highest electricity demand.” Finally, the study highlights the risk of concurrent wide-scale high electricity demand and low wind power supply over many parts of Europe. Neighbouring countries may, therefore, struggle to provide additional capacity to the UK, when the UK’s own demand is high and wind power low.

The research – published in the journal Environmental Research Letters – included contributions from Imperial College London and the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading.

August 16th 2019
Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Growing, Taking Place in 75 Countries

Companies in 75 countries actively sourced 465 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable energy in 2017, an amount close to the overall electricity demand of France, according to the report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). With the continued decline in the costs of renewables, the report suggests, corporate demand will continue to increase as companies seek to reduce electricity bills, hedge against future price spikes and address sustainability concerns.

August 9th 2019
Arsenal Unveil Battery Storage System: First Of Its Kind At A UK Football Club

Arsenal Football Club has unveiled a battery storage system (BSS) to store enough energy to run the 60,000 seater Emirates Stadium from kick-off to full time. It follows a unique collaboration with Pivot Power to install a 2MW/2.5MWh lithium ion BSS, with funds managed by Downing LLP. The project, the first of its kind in the UK, will also save club money as it works to support low-carbon plans. The BSS allows Arsenal to avoid peak power prices, buying electricity when it is cheap and storing it for use when prices are high. Typically, energy can cost three times more at peak times than overnight. The installation maintains Arsenal as the leader in sustainability in sport following its commitment to clean energy with Octopus Energy in 2016.

August 14th 2019
Wind: China Maintains Emerging Markets Top Spot Following 19.7GW Build Boom

Wind industry intelligence service A Word About Wind has launched its Emerging Markets Attractiveness Index report for 2018, which provides insight and analysis into the most attractive emerging markets for wind companies. The index, now in its second year, ranks the top 30 emerging markets that investors should consider when investing in wind in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The list considers factors including political and economic stability for investors, alongside the growth of electricity demand and potential for wind growth, in order to rank the countries by overall potential. As with last year’s report, China tops the list and the ongoing trade war with the US shows no sign of slowing China’s formidable growth.

November 16th 2018
India: Improved Monsoon Winds Help Power Producers in 2018 

After a prolonged period of decline, wind speeds in India during the 2018 monsoon season were significantly higher than normal; and up to 20% higher than long-term averages in some regions. These higher wind speeds benefit wind farm production; welcome news for wind energy operators and investors, who have faced several years of lower-than-normal wind energy production during the monsoon period. These increased wind speeds can thus counter recent patterns of decline contributing to an increase in investor confidence with a data-driven approach.

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