005a…UK Power Deficit

UK Future Electricity Supply – Some Thoughts.

A review of the projected energy demands and the sources of supply. Do let me know if you can see errors.

On Wednesday 23-Jan-19 from 17:30-18:00 National Grid reports the peak electricity demand was 46.9 GW. January is often a time of maximum demand and also when wind power can be less than 2% and no solar power at night.

When one looks forward to 2030, our coal fired power stations will have closed along with many of our nuclear power stations.

Nuclear power in 2030
Sizewell B operating                 1,195 MW
Hinkley Point C starts 2025     3,200 mW
Total                                             4,395 MW
Note Wylfa,, Moorside and Oldbury have been cancelled which would have provided 6,100 MW of power from 2030.

By 2030 The National Grid forecasts a peak peak demand of 62 GW
(fes-2018-in-5-minutes-web-version.pdf)

At that time Power generation from non intermittent sources will be approximately:
Nuclear Generation     4.4       GW
Natural Gas                  30.0      GW
Oil                                     2.0      GW
Biomass                           2.2      GW *
Storage                            7.0       GW
Giving an approximate generation capacity of 46 GW
Low wind power days are typically less than 1 GW and Zero Solar when no sunshine.
So in 2030 we will have a generation deficit of 64-50= 18 GW.

Inter connectors are forecast to provide 19 GW from 2025. Currently their capacity is approximately 5 GW with the opening of the new NEMO interconnector to Belgium though with the problems faced by the Belgian Nuclear industry in winter 2018-2019 it is questionable if Belgium would be willing to export any of its energy.

Brexit may affect future plans and outsourcing our energy may not be the best plan if the political situation changes.

When we look further forward the green movement wants to see the abolition of gas fired power stations and the recent announcement that gas fired central heating would be banned from 2025 has not been considered in the previous National Grid forecasts so the domestic consumption of electricity in the winter months will rise considerably along with the costs. Electricity is approximately four times more costly to heat a home than gas!

Of course the inter connector cables would be easily severed by accidents or an enemy so must be regarded as a security risk.

The National Grid BEIS 2017 Updated Energy & Emissions Projections

As to on street charging for electric vehicles a conversation with a local SWEB employee confirmed my suspicions that there was no way the existing cabling to the street lamps could cope with multiple charging points. The cables were designed for an approximate 600 watts per lamp and as most terraced houses tend to be the older ones, the cables are no way near modern standards, so the streets would have to be re-cabled and the local substations and their feeds up graded to cope.