Electricity nerds were getting excited (April 17th) as the national grid issued a ‘negative reserve active power margin’ notice, meaning that for North West Scotland there was too much power on the grid. According to the Daily Torygraph, who write for the renewable hating Tory hordes in darkest Surrey, this crisis is the fault of renewable energy. The ’emergency’ scenario is marked by the fact that the National Grid: ‘could be forced to issue unprecedented emergency orders to power plants to switch off……..Businesses will also be paid to shift their power demand to times when there is surplus electricity, as the UK energy system struggles to cope with the huge expansion in subsidised renewable power.’ Later on in the same article, there is an obscure mention to the fact that wind and solar farms may be encouraged to turn down their generation because of ‘inflexible’ generation, which of course is mainly nuclear power. So let’s get this right, the Torygraph is saying that nuclear power plant can’t or won’t turn down their power stations, so it’s windfarms and solar farms that are the problem? The strange thing is I often hear nuclear power industry representatives going on about how nuclear power is flexible and can turn up or down when required, except that in the UK it doesn’t happen, not even with the newest station Sizewell B. There is confusion over whether future nuclear power stations will be able to vary their power, but I am pretty confident they won’t.
Dave Toke’s Blog 18th April 2016 read more »