Sunday, January 3, 2010

How green was my power cut?

The BBC overnight are reporting that a fire has taken out the Kingsnorth power station in Kent.

That's some two bigga-watts of capacity off-line for the time being.

We are, it seems, in the throes of the coldest winter "this century" (which is hardly a big deal in itself) or since 1963 (if we accept the regional press, and seems more impressive).

The coming week sees schools re-opening, factories and commerce reviving after the seasonal break. At some point in the next couple of weeks, we should be hitting the highest annual power demands. There's an ever-s0-slightly worrying National Grid graph showing the predicted surplus capacity over the coming few days. Round about the middle of the week, that surplus capacity could be down to five Kingsnorths. Fair enough?

It will be instructive to see how close we come to the doomsters' predictions that black-outs are inevitable by mid-decade. If/when the Great British Up-turn comes along (the £ cheap-as-chips, the € desperately overpriced, production coming home because the British work-bod now does it for peanuts), that time-frame could be shortened.

One can also watch the real-time power consumption, courtesy of the national grid website. For example, as this post is made, out of a total early hours demand of 33000 MW and increasing, a tenth of that is coming from the gritty north to the soft south. We see that Scotland is exporting 546 MW to England, Northern Ireland 288 MW (presumably to southern Scotland), and the French (mainly nuclear) plants are contributing 1310 MW.

Will this be the moment we regret not going nuclear? Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Calvin Jones said...

I guess the answer is you haven't had a power cut.

And no, we arent going to regret not going nuclear as it seems the govornment have plans to do just that.

However, we may regret THIS action as nuclear power dosent mesh well with wind. Open cycle gas turbines do mesh well perhaps we will regret not having those.

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