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.

October 17th 2017
Grids Integration, Energy Networks Boosted By Distributed Generation Growth

Renewable energy has continued to develop at ever increasing rates, with remarkable growth seen since the start of this decade. The pace of the energy transition is driving innovation and growth in related sectors. For energy networks and grids integrating small gas turbines, micro-turbines, fuel cells, biomass, small hydropower, wind and solar energy; distributed generation installation provides significant solutions in the restructured electricity regime. This is particularly so, where there is a larger uncertainty in demand and supply.

October 10th 2017
Renovate America Applauds Landmark Protection Framework For PACE Financing

California Governor Jerry Brown signs into law two bills that significantly strengthen Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for homeowners and communities. Renovate America, the nation’s largest PACE provider, has hailed Governor Jerry Brown’s signing into law of two bills that provide a landmark regulatory and consumer protection framework for PACE. “Across 150,000 California homes, PACE has already saved enough energy to power the United States for over a day – and this legislation provides the regulatory and underwriting framework to ensure it’s a responsible choice for hundreds of thousands more homes and families,” said Ari Matusiak, Chief Strategy Officer at Renovate America.

October 16th 2017
Uganda Inaugurates Breakthrough Tororo PV Plant. A Future Model For Africa?

Production has commenced at the Tororo PV power plant; which, with 16 GWh of renewable energy generated annually, will cater for the energy requirements of 35,838 people and help reduce CO2 emissions by 7,200 tons. Overall, $19.6 million was invested to build the 10 MWp plant, with the engagement of several major organisations including KfW and FMO Development Banks, the World Bank and the EU. Attilio Pacifici, EU Ambassador said, “One of the key objectives of this plan is to encourage private sector participation in higher risk investments and we’re happy to demonstrate that Uganda is well positioned to be successful and a good model for replication.”

October 16th 2017
Nordex Adds To Successes In Argentina, Winning 100 MW Pomona Wind Farm Order

The Nordex Group has added a further chapter to its success story in Argentina with an order for 26 N131/3900 turbines for the “Pomona” wind farm. The contract will be executed on a full EPC basis, including civil and electrical engineering, procurement, construction and manufacturing, delivery and installation of the wind turbines. Preparations for construction will be commencing in 2017, after which the wind power systems will be installed at the beginning of 2019. In addition, a ten-year full operation and maintenance contract has also been signed. 


 

   

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