Wind Achieving High Capacity in UK

February 26, 2020

Renewables Now:

February 25 (Renewables Now) – The average offshore wind load factors during the month of January were at their highest since 2015, with older parks, built before 2016, reaching 52% and newer ones going even higher to 55%.

This was unveiled by research and analysis provider Cornwall Insight, which attributes the higher load factors at newer sites to their use of larger turbines. The consultancy says its research has even shown that some of the newest sites, both offshore and onshore, achieved monthly average load factors close to, or above, 70%. On certain days they even approached 100%.

When it comes to just onshore wind farms, load factors averaged 42% for the month.

Lucy Dolton, analyst at Cornwall Insight, said that the consultancy expects these wind output records to be broken more frequently in the future, given that an additional 1.1 GW of new offshore wind farms are seen to become operational by April 2020. At the same time, the government is targeting an increase in offshore wind capacity to 40 GW by 2030 from 10.8 GW at present.

“Although decarbonisation of the electricity mix is wholly positive, ever-higher levels of wind output are not without its impacts. During periods of high wind output, the subsequent lower wholesale prices put some sites at risk of cannibalising their revenues and can even lead to negative prices, as seen in December,” Dolton added.

12 Responses to “Wind Achieving High Capacity in UK”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Have they factored in the higher maintenance/upgrade cost to deal with the later discovery of excessive pitting (due to high speed particulate impact) on the leading edges of the blades? That sounded…problematic.

    Enquiring minds want to know!

  2. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    The last paragraph highlights a problem to be addressed. Germany and California already suffer from periods of negative pricing. This will increase dramatically as renewable outputs increase, discouraging investment somewhat. Killing it in fact under present forms of energy economics. As stated, problem in search of a solution.


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