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.

July 28th 2017
Major Realignment In Motorsport As Porsche Prioritises Formula E Over Le Mans

Significant changes in motorsport are taking place as Porsche implements its strategy to develop a combination of pure GT vehicles and fully electric sports cars, such as the first fully battery-powered Mission E road car. “Entering Formula E and achieving success in this category are the logical outcomes of our Mission E”, says Michael Steiner, Executive Board Member, R&D at Porsche AG. “For us, Formula E is the ultimate competitive environment for driving forward the development of high-performance vehicles in areas such as environmental friendliness, efficiency and sustainability”.

August 17th 2017
Siemens Gamesa Installs Asia’s Tallest Turbines, Whilst Stepping Up Integration

Siemens Gamesa has set a new record in Asia by installing this year the tallest wind turbines on the continent. The turbines are equipped with 153-metre tall towers, and with the 56-metre blades, they reach a total height of 210 metres. Presently, a major focus for the company is the integration of the entities of Siemens and Gamesa. This has the objective of realising the new company’s substantial potential, thanks to its bigger scale and global reach: a presence in more than 90 countries, an installed base of 75 GW, and an order book of €21bn.

August 14th 2017
Offshore Wind Drives 6.1 GW Of European Wind Installations In First Half Of 2017

6.1 GW of extra wind energy capacity was installed in Europe in the first half of 2017, according to figures released by WindEurope. The figure puts Europe on course for a bumper year for installations, although hides some worrying trends. WindEurope Chief Policy Officer, Pierre Tardieu, said: “We are on track for a good year in wind capacity installations but growth is driven by a handful of markets. At least ten EU countries have yet to install a single MW so far this year. Although this won’t translate into lower installations for another few years, the industry needs clarity on volumes for the post-2020 period to maintain the current cost reduction trend”.

August 9th 2017
35% Of German Electricity Consumption Now From Renewables: Grid Challenges Ahead

The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) have stated in an initial assessment that electricity generated from clean energy accounted for 35% of Germany’s consumption in 1H 2017. It’s the first time that this mark has been reached. The total share of electricity generated from renewables was up 2% from last year. The growth from onshore wind was 13.6%; offshore wind saw the steepest growth at 47.5%; growth from biomass increased by 2.2%, whilst the growth from PV systems was 13.5%, compared with the 1H 2016.