National Grid is forced to search for emergency power sources due to lack of wind
OCTOBER 18,2020 - dailymail

National Grid is being forced to search for emergency power sources due to a recent lack of wind - just a week after Boris Johnson said wind farms would power every home in the UK within a decade.

The utility company, which is responsible for ensuring supply and demand are balanced in Britain`s energy systems, said electricity supply margins were likely to be tight in the country over the next few days.

Bosses insisted there would be an adequate supply to meet requirements, but the warning comes just days after the Prime Minister`s pledge to make the nation a world leader in offshore wind technology.

National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) said on Twitter: We`re forecasting tight margins on the #electricity system over the next few days owing to a number of factors including weather, import and export levels and availability of generators over periods of the day with higher demand.

`Unusually low wind output coinciding with a number of generator outages means the cushion of spare capacity we operate the system with has been reduced.

`We`re exploring measures & actions to make sure there is enough generation available to increase our buffer of capacity.`

The UK already boasts the world`s biggest offshore wind market, but Mr Johnson has outlined plans to expand that even further, wanting to create 60,000 jobs and build thousands of coastal turbines.

Outlining a ten-year plan at the Conservative Party conference to power every home in the country, he said: `You heard me right. Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands.`

The plan will require a four-fold increase in offshore capacity, with the number of turbines rising from around 1,800 to more than 7,000.

The UK is already testing the world`s biggest turbine blade, with a 350ft model undergoing trials off the coast of Northumberland.

The Prime Minister has pledged funding to develop floating turbines in deep water locations where the wind is often strongest.

Government sources said ministers would apply `stringent requirements on supporting UK manufacturers` to try to ensure at least 60 per cent of equipment is made in this country.

Why Britain`s a winner in the generation game

AS the windiest country in Europe, Britain is perfectly placed to generate renewable electricity.

The UK`s offshore wind capacity is already the largest in the world and meets 10 per cent of our electricity demand.

Wind farms are either located `onshore` in areas of open land, or `offshore` – off the coast in areas of shallow water and high levels of wind.

Around 7,000 wind turbines are in operation across the UK countryside, with a further 1,832 located offshore, according to theswitch.co.uk.

The tallest turbines are located off the coast of Liverpool, at the Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm.

At 195 metres, they are taller than Blackpool Tower.

Each has 80-metre blades that – with a single rotation – can produce the energy to power a home for 29 hours.

The Burbo site generates enough electricity to power over 80,000 homes.

Whitelee Wind Farm in Eaglesham, Glasgow, is the largest onshore facility and its 215 turbines can service 300,000 homes at any one time.

The London Array is the world`s largest offshore wind farm with 175 turbines spread over 38 square miles off the coast of Kent.

It can power almost 500,000 households across the South East and cut C02 emissions by 925,000 tons a year.

Read more: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8842793/National-Grid-forced-search-emergency-power-sources-lack-wind.html

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