Dr Capell Aris, author of the new report “Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation”, wrote an op-ed for Conservative Home detailing the findings of the report. The report, published jointly by the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance, severely undermines the case for a move towards more wind generation in the UK because it suggests that wind can never be a major reliable source of energy for the UK. Specifically, the report found that wind farms generate below 20% of their supposed output for 29 weeks a year, and only exceed 90% of their rated output for 17 hours a year.
As you drive along the M6 in Lancashire, you pass close to a huge, solitary wind turbine. It’s always rotating in even the lightest winds and you might be impressed, thinking that it’s delivering between two and three megawatts (MW) to the national grid. You are wrong!
In my recent paper Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation, published jointly by the Adam Smith Institute and Scientific Alliance, I have gathered nine years of half-hourly wind data from 22 locations across the UK and used this to drive a model wind fleet comprising more than 3,600 modern wind turbines. The wind fleet is thus roughly the same nameplate capacity as the present UK fleet – 10 gigawatts (GW).
The results are disappointing. The output power surpasses 80 per cent of its rated capacity for just 163 hours of the 8,766 in a year—19 per cent of the time. It passes 90 per cent for only 17 hours a year.
Worse still, the power delivered is below 20 per cent of the available for 3,448 hours (20 weeks) per annum, and below 10 per cent for 1,519 hours (9 weeks) per annum.
Read the full op-ed here.