Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Storms can be good! - Wind farms outstrip nuclear power this week...

The UK's wind farms generated more power than its nuclear power stations on Tuesday, the National Grid says.

The energy network operator said it was caused by a combination of high winds and faults in nuclear plants.

Wind farms are causing controversy in rural areas and the government is choking off planning permission for new sites.

But for a 24-hour period yesterday, spinning blades produced more energy than splitting atoms.
Wind made up 14.2% of all generation and nuclear offered 13.2%.

It follows another milestone on Saturday, when wind generated a record amount of power - 6,372 MW, according to National Grid.

This formed nearly 20% of the the UK's electricity, albeit at a time at the weekend when demand is relatively low.

The situation is caused by windy conditions boosting the output from turbines at a time when eight out of the UK's 15 nuclear reactors are offline.

EDF Energy said current ageing reactors are down for a number of reasons:
  1. Sizewell B is in the middle of a planned "statutory outage" for maintenance and refuelling
  2. Hunterston B Reactor 4 is down for maintenance, expected back in early November
  3. At Dungeness B, one unit is being refuelled and the other is expected back online soon after being shut down after a fault on a boiler pump was discovered
  4. The four reactors at Heysham and Hartlepool were taken offline in August after a crack was found on a boiler spine.

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