2005/06 GB Wind Power Analysis

This is the sixth in a series of posts that look at UK Wind Power, in particular at its ability to contribute to peak demand, which occurs in the early evening, reaching its highest values during winter cold spells. Data at 30-minute intervals for demand was downloaded from National Grid and plotted so as to reveal its essential characteristics, together with the Central England (HadCET) minimum temperature values, which provide an indication of the early evening temperatures. See the NATIONAL GRID DATA page of this blog for details of the demand data, and the download link; no wind power data are available from this download link until October 2007.

The figure below shows the daily peak demand (in red) and the HadCET minimum temperatures (in blue), for winter 2005/06:

cetd_2005_06_djf

Sample (lowest-wind) synoptic charts are shown below for 6 periods (marked on the figure above as “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “E” and “F”) of high demand and/or low minimum temperature:

“A”: 7th December 2005, the synoptic chart below indicates low wind speed:

bracka20051207

“B”: 18/19th December 2005, the synoptic chart below indicates low wind speed:

bracka20051218

“C”: 27-30 December 2005, the synoptic chart below indicates low wind speed:

bracka20051229

“D”: 22-26 January 2006, the synoptic chart below indicates low wind speed:

bracka20060125

“E”: 1-7 February 2006, the synoptic chart below indicates low wind speed:

bracka20060202

“F”: 10/11th February 2006, the synoptic chart below indicates low wind speed:

bracka20060210

Conclusions

Each cold spell in winter 2005/06 had at least one day where the isobars suggest that wind speed was low across GB, implying that wind power at peak demand on those days would have been much lower than the average wind power for the season.

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