Britain Becalmed: Turbines across the UK are at a standstill after wind 'disappears' for a week causing a two-year low in electricity production

Britain got 15 per cent of its power from wind last year - twice as much as coal; Since the start of June, wind farms have been producing barely any electricity; The 'wind drought' has meant turbines have generated less than two per cent of the country's power this month

Calm conditions in the last seven days have caused wind turbines across the UK to come to a standstill.
The 'disappearing wind' has meant turbines have generated less than two per cent of the country's power this month - the lowest figure for more than two years.
Forecasts show the calm conditions will continue until the middle of the month.
Critics of wind power are likely to point to the current wind shortage as evidence of their unreliability.
Supporters say improvements in storage technology will allow power generated by wind to smooth out demand.
The Met Office told MailOnline that this period of tranquillity and little power is the result of a series of high-pressure areas over the UK. 
Periods of low wind are common, but it is unusual for it to be this severe and for it to last this long. 
Britain got 15 per cent of its power from wind last year - twice as much as coal.
But on Sunday this figure fell to just 1.1 per cent, with only 0.3 gigawatts of energy being produced around 10am.
The figures were equally as dire on Saturday, with only 2.6 per cent of the day's electricity coming from wind turbines.
In the last three days, the amount of energy produced has hovered between 6.7 per cent and 8.8 per cent.     
A spokesperson for the Met Office told MailOnline: 'The reason winds are light at the moment is because of several high pressure systems over the UK.
'With a clockwise air current, the weather tends to be much calmer than when it is moving in an anticlockwise direction in a low pressure system.
'Recently, we have experienced a preponderance of high pressure systems, but it's not been constant.'
Britain has been trying to lighten its dependence on fossil fuels, and in 2017 wind produced twice as much power as coal.  
Unsurprising, during the 'Beast from the East' that besieged the UK in March, wind-generated power accounted for more than a third (35.7 per cent) of all the UK's power.
At times, wind power was the main provider of the the nation's electricity.
The next closest was gas, accounting for 20.3 per cent. Nuclear and coal made up just over 30 per cent between them (17.6 and 12.9 per cent, respectively).
It was during this period of time that wind power set a record amount of electricity produced, with 14.3 gigawatts of energy coming on one particularly blustery Saturday.  
A drop-off like this in winter could be catastrophic should the UK become reliant upon renewable energy sources.
Whilst advances in the storage of energy has meant power can be kept for longer, the process is yet to be perfected.
Earlier this week, Greg Clark, secretary of state for business energy and industrial strategy signalled that the UK will take the next step toward agreeing to help Hitachi Ltd. finance a new nuclear reactor.
Responding to National Grid wind figures, Frank Gordon from the Renewable Energy Association, said: 'The renewable energy family continues to perform well, powering over 30 per cent of Britain's commercial and domestic needs over the last year, waste-to-energy, biomass plants, wind and solar are setting generation records and enjoy record levels of public support.
'Advances in energy storage technologies ensure energy stability to the grid, storing excess energy produced by renewables such as wind and solar for periods when we experience less wind or sun.
'Baseload renewable technologies such as waste-to-energy plants, and wave and tidal power also offer reliable sources of renewable energy for periods of high-demand or low generation from other sources due to weather conditions.' 


JUN 6 2018
back to top