Having seen a bumper winter, gas-fired power plants saw levels of generation drop 21 per cent from January as levels of wind generation climbed 28 per cent to reach record levels in the UK.
With Storm Doris hitting Britain over the February period, average levels of wind power generation averaged 6 GW of average output per hour over the month. This came as renewables generated 6.3TWh in the month, versus 3.5TWh at coal stations, 5.4TWh at nuclear plants and 9.4TWh at gas-fired power plants.
Energy consultants EnAppSys told Power Engineering International, “These levels of wind generation exceeded the highest ever average output levels (achieved in December 2015), and resulted in a pull-back in levels of gas-fired generation from what have been strong levels over the winter period.”
Gas plants had previously been aided by low levels of wind output and electricity exports (where imports are the norm), and this swing in activity month to month highlights how the winter period has changed for conventional plant in recent years.
“Previously gas generators would modulate output around the changing demand for electricity, but now plants increasingly have to come offline when the wind blows. This reduces carbon emissions but creates challenges for those generators,” EnAppSys stated.
Global clean energy investment down despite offshore wind record year
Senvion wins three windfarm deals in UK