This is the seventh 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 2006/07:
Sample synoptic charts are shown below for each period of high demand and/or low minimum temperature, marked “A”, “B” and “C” on the figure above.
“A”: 20 – 23 December 2006, the following synoptic chart shows low wind speeds:
“B”: 23 – 26 January 2007, the following synoptic chart shows low wind speeds:
“C”: 3 – 9 February 2007, the following synoptic chart shows low wind speeds:
Each of the 3 cold spells in the winter of 2006/07 had at least one day of low wind speed across GB, implying that wind power would have fallen to levels well below the average for the season at least once in each spell.