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Unexpected UK EarthHour at peak time Friday — just after Wind Power hits new high?

Fragile grids

UK FlagOver a million people customers lost power in the UK yesterday thanks to the sudden outage of a gas and a wind plant. Some of the country’s biggest railway stations were inoperable.  Passengers were stuck on trains for up to seven hours. Others stayed in hotels, walked miles or paid “hundreds” for taxis. The outpatient sections of Ipswich Hospital were blacked out for 15 minutes when backup generators failed. “At the height of the Friday rush hour, all trains out of King’s Cross were suspended and remained so for most of the evening.”BBC. Commuters resorted to using their phones as torches to get out of tunnels in the dark.

Urgent Investigation called for into “fiasco”

According to headlines, at this early stage before the investigation all we know for sure is that wind power is definitely not to blame, but Boris might be. (Seriously, it’s the no-deal Brexit that hasn’t happened).

Officially, people are saying in solemn knowing tones that it is “extremely rare”  for two generators to go out at once. But the odd thing about this is how small the loss was. Barfield Gas power is only a 730 MW generator, and Hornsea Wind “Farm” is, at most, 1.2 GW. The whole UK grid is more in the order of 60-80GW. The word on twitter was that this was only a 1.4MW loss. If so — wow. For some reason this small loss meant the grid frequency fell from the usual 50 Hz to a heartache 48.889 Hz (disastrous in grid terms). At that point, pre-programmed emergency “load shedding” kicked in.

“One source at a local energy network said: “I’ve never heard of anything like this in 20 years.”…” – Financial Times

Hmm. This could be a clue – a storm was sweeping through and wind farms were running full tilt just before things fell apart. Half an hour before the crash the National Grid was bragging about a new wind power record: 

At 16 minutes past four on Friday a press officer at National Grid put out a tweet which seemed to signal Britain’s progress towards its much-vaunted zero-carbon economy. The proportion of UK electricity generated by wind power, ‘it boasted, had just reached a record high of 47.6 per cent. 

–Ross Clark, Spectator.

With such a high proportion of wind power the system inertia would have been very low, which would mean the system was much less able to adapt to any disruption. (And if that is the case then this is a renewables problem. Too many intermittent generators, not enough spinning reserve). Large baseload turbines have spinning weights in the order of 200 – 600 tons, and they turn at 3,000 rpm. Solar and wind power just can’t provide that stability. Wait and see, but there are similarities with the South Australian blackout of 2016.

UK power cut: National Grid promises to learn lessons from blackout

National Grid has said it will “learn the lessons” after nearly one million people across England and Wales lost power on Friday.

Industry experts said that a gas-fired power station at Little Barford, Bedfordshire, failed at 16:58, followed, two minutes later, by the Hornsea offshore wind farm disconnecting from the grid.

This energy expert is hinting that renewables were to blame:

David Hunter, energy analyst at Schneider Electric, told the BBC … the transition to clean energy may be creating “greater stresses” on the system because energy such as wind power is less effective as a “shock absorber” to shifts in supply and demand.

At Tallblokes, commenter: It doesn’t add up... has the best analysis I’ve seen so far. As far as I can tell, he knows the finer details down to the sixth significant figure plus all the generators, capacities and cables. He blames the wind turbines going out then triggering the gas plant, and is suspicious of the official timings given, pointing out some details were only filed 20 minutes after the event. He makes a good case that it was the lack of grid inertia that meant the small outages were too much for the system. There is simply not enough synchronous generators working (coal, hydro, nuclear and gas).

It doesn’t add up: The extremely rapid initial drop in frequency to below the statutory minimum of 49.5Hz is compatible with the drop in wind generation of about 850MW recorded in grid 5 minute data (although there appear to be timing discrepancies between the frequency and power data – but I would regard the frequency data as conclusive, especially with wind). That is followed by a small bounce as the gird starts to try to recover, before a further smaller collapse in frequency to the nadir at around 48.8Hz, which is entirely consistent with the smaller drop in CCGT output recorded in grid data that suggest that Little Barford was probably operating at about 50% of its 727MW capacity. There is a major grid transmission line that runs from Keadby near Killingholme past Little Barford at St. Neots and on to the transmission ring around the North of London. It is almost certain that this power line was delivering power from the wind farm towards London. When that failed, there would have been a sudden extra demand on Little Barford, which would have caused its frequency to drop and that (if not the already rapid drop in grid frequency) would have tripped it out of operation.

That these disturbances caused such a rapid and severe frequency drop that triggered load shedding is entirely due to the lack of grid inertia caused by the high proportion of generation from wind and solar, which had been running at over 40% most of the day. A 2016 presentation from National Grid has a chart that shows the relationship between the rate of change of frequency that can be expected for different amounts of load loss at different levels of grid inertia: it suggests that they were sailing far too close to the wind. You can think of grid inertia as the flywheel energy stored in the rotating heavy generator turbines.

h/t Tomomason at Tallblokes for the frequency info. h/t Pat for the story. Thanks to “It doesn’t add up” and Tallbloke.

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Rating: 9.4/10 (77 votes cast)
Unexpected UK EarthHour at peak time Friday -- just after Wind Power hits new high?, 9.4 out of 10 based on 77 ratings

178 comments to Unexpected UK EarthHour at peak time Friday — just after Wind Power hits new high?

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    UK power cut: National Grid promises to learn lessons from blackout

    Don’t they all? Human history is littered with such promises, most of them still in the unfulfilled state.

    320

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Please don’t hold your breath waiting for them to learn something.

      220

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        Sounds like Hillary doing a deep investigation into “what went wrong” with her election attempt. The conclusion was “Russians”.

        They only ask one another, they never ask the people who voted for Trump. And then, if they ever did, they wouldn’t believe them.

        They know the answer, they’ve just got to find the correct excuse.

        260

    • #
      Yonniestone

      The road to hell is littered with bad inventions….

      100

    • #
      Tides of Mudgee

      No no no, there is one thing that we have learnt from history and that is that we don’t learn from history. ToM

      150

      • #
        Yonniestone

        As a famous Englishman once said on the subject of power,

        “Now is the winter of our disconnect”

        110

      • #
        sophocles

        … which is such an ingrained tradition it has to be adhered to whatever the cost!

        From that fabulous and so appropriate tv show It Ain’t Arf Hot Mum!:

        Oh dear
        How sad
        Too Bad
        Never Mind.

        It will happen again … and again … and again …

        00

    • #
      yarpos

      You would think that the “lessons” are just the well known parameters that grid operators have known for decades. The fact that wind and solar are a disruptive factor is not new news. The fact that they can and will cause blackouts is not new news. The need to maintain sychronous generators even though wind power is available is not new news. Why would they imagine none of this applies in the UK?

      Beyond the cessation of magical wishful thinking and listening again to their own professional technical staff its hard to imagine what “lessons” they need to learn.

      190

      • #
        sophocles

        … one has to wonder what has been going into Drax’s furnaces along with the wood chips …

        00

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        … its hard to imagine what “lessons” they need to learn.

        I can easily think of several but the main one is to jerk their heads back out into the sunshine. That might take care of the others too.

        00

    • #
      Roger

      I don’t expect honest answers, from the outset this has been spun as nothing to do with windpower anc initial claims were that gas generation failed first.

      The claims that it had nothing to to with the wind farm all come from the renewable energy industry.

      With mad policy from this government bassed on alarmist propaganda rather than fact for a carbon free future by 2050 , I doubt they will want to see the public being made aware that wind is an unreliable nightmare. We will wait and see.

      150

      • #
        StephenP

        It gives the suspicion that the gas plant was being run slow to allow the percentage of electricity from wind to exceed 50%, but unfortunately for them there wasn’t enough inertia in the system to cover a fluctuation in wind supply.
        They had already been crowing about getting in excess of 47% generation from wind.

        90

        • #
          Gerry, England

          Looks like the gas plant was shut down as demand hit a certain level as per its operating contract. German company RWE owns it and can no doubt produce said contract if they are getting blamed. So that points to the wind farm as being the source of the problem but they will want to try to cover this up.

          60

          • #
            It doesn't add up...

            That rumour was started by Bloomberg, who quoted RWE’s German head of PR claiming that there was a shutdown in line with contract because demand had dipped to 23GW stipulated as the trigger point. It’s nonsense, because Little Barford reported the outage as “Unplanned” promptly: a contractual ramp down and shutdown would have merited no such report, and would have been gradual.

            I can imagine what happened: Bloomberg contacted RWE for comment, and went straight to the head of PR in Germany. He will have said “I’ll get back to you – give me five minutes.” He will then have rung his senior management pal (likely another German) in the UK on his mobile and asked for comment. He would not have been aware of the incident, but almost certainly knew that Little Barford had a contract that allowed the Grid to ramp down its output at the 23GW level (which he might even have negotiated or at least signed at a swanky lunch), and mentioned it. Meantime, the Bloomberg journalist rang back, pressing for info. So it was given out. Probably the UK manager had no clue how to contact the ops room for the real story, and neither did PR in Germany. Besides, mere operator underlings are not to be trusted! Corporate silos can be wonderful things at times.

            As seen by the grid (remembering that “unmetered” embedded generation is treated as a reduction in demand in live monitoring) it didn’t fall below 23GW until after 23:00, over 8 hours later.

            30

      • #
        It doesn't add up...

        You are right not to expect honest answers. The wind farm failed to report its outage until almost half an hour after the frequency event started – and then it lied by claiming that its outage started at 16:00:00GMT precisely, some 7.5 minutes after it really happened. Reports of inside information on operations problems are mandatory under the REMIT system. By any stretch they appear to be in serious breach of this:

        Under Article 4(2) of REMIT, a market participant:

        “may under its own responsibility exceptionally delay the public
        disclosure of inside information so as not to prejudice its legitimate
        interests provided that such omission is not likely to mislead the
        public and provided that the market participant is able to ensure the
        confidentiality of that information and does not make decisions relating
        to trading in wholesale energy products based upon that information.”

        In any situation where a market participant has delayed disclosure of
        inside information, they must notify both us and ACER immediately. This
        should include a justification for the delay.

        30

    • #
      Ross

      Nuclear accidents. Toxic oil leaks. Mass drownings from dam collapse. What do they say afterwards?
      As failures go, this was fairly benign. If they locate and eradicate the problem, all good.
      I wish them all the best in solving this particular problem. It appears pretty easy.

      03

    • #
      ivan

      There are two lessons they need to learn.

      1) Don’t rely on unreliable renewables for base load.

      2) Repeal the Climate Change Act 2008, disband all the CC committees, remove all subsidies from renewable energy generators, make buying electricity from the reliable coal fired generators a priority – renewables can be used for fill in.

      The problem is those lessons will not be learned and since 1) relies on 2) and non of the British politicians have the guts to go against the UN diktat and the demands of the green slime nothing will happen until the people have had enough an demand something practical is done.

      20

    • #
      David Wojick

      The Telegraph reports the grid had three “near misses” in the last few months.

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/12/national-grid-experienced-three-blackout-near-misses-last-months/

      Clearly a huge system problem, not a rare fluke.

      20

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    And speaking of energy, power and the like… This is probably a dubious distinction but I get a newsletter called California Political Review. In the top spot in today’s first issue, the headline is this.

    Australia is an Energy Cautionary Tale for California

    I can’t figure out for sure if you’re famous or infamous.

    260

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Roy, Australia might suffer from fools and failing power, but CA is going to be decimated by the black death if they don’t get the rodent problem under control….

      Clear now for all to see – the damage leftist govts inflict on populations….if its not flaky power to nobble hospitals, its overlaoding the medical system with ancient and deadly diseases.

      The Left is a pox upon all our houses….literally….

      https://www.dailywire.com/news/47888/bubonic-plague-likely-already-present-los-angeles-joseph-curl

      “The city, with a population topping four million and a broader metropolitan area with many millions more, is awash in massive problems — overcrowding, lack of housing, and high demand for free services among them. But other far more serious problems are lurking, Dr. Drew Pinksy said on Thursday.

      “We have a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization in Los Angeles right now,” Pinsky told Fox New host Laura Ingraham. “We have the three prongs of airborne disease, tuberculosis is exploding, rodent-borne. We are one of the only cities in the country that doesn’t have a rodent control program, and sanitation has broken down.”

      Pinsky said bubonic plague — also known as the “Black Death,” a pandemic that killed off millions in the 14th century — is “likely” already present in Los Angeles. The plague is spread by infected fleas and exposure to bodily fluids from a dead plague-infected animal, with the bacteria entering through the skin and traveling to lymph nodes.

      Typhus, which broke out in the city last year, will likely return, Pinsky said. Already, a Los Angeles police officer has contracted typhoid fever, which infects fewer than 350 Americans each year. The various types of typhus are caused by a bacterial infection and spread by body lice, chiggers or fleas. In the 1600s, the disease decimated Germany.

      “This is unbelievable. I can’t believe I live in a city where this is not Third World. This is medieval,” Pinsky said, according to Fox News. “Third World countries are insulted if they are accused of being like this. No city on Earth tolerates this. The entire population is at risk.”

      160

      • #
        Ross

        I live in Sydney. Lotsa rats. I blame the LNP government.
        (But keep quoting Fox guests and anchors. They have NO agenda.)

        22

        • #
          AndyG55

          “Lotsa rats.”

          Clover Moore being one of them.!

          And yes, we know inner Sydney is infested with leftists. !

          10

    • #
    • #
      • #
        Graeme#4

        The report seems basically correct Roy. As to renewables subsidies, I believe that these will continue until 2030, but no new subsidies from 2020 onwards. It’s estimated that these subsidies will cost Australians around A$2 billion every year.

        70

  • #
    RicDre

    Les Johnson @ WUWT said “The gas plant went to idle first, then Hornsea went off line, and the gas plant then went off line trying to ramp up.”

    If this is true, then the power failure may have been provoked by the attempt to rely too heavily on wind power. As he put it:

    “It is a guess at this point, but from the noise just before the crash, from the wind industry, they were perhaps trying to set a record for wind production; hence the idling of the gas plant.”

    210

    • #
      RicDre

      Another take on this from Roger @ WUWT:

      “The Barford gas generator cut out because it’s contract dictated that it must do so when wind generation which has precedence was available. The wind farm according to a spokesperson cut out entirely in accordance with it’s operating parameters, but which parameter was not stated.”

      If this is true, then it may simply be that the way things were set up guaranteed that this sort of failure would eventually occur.

      280

      • #
        Bill in Oz

        That’s my feeling exactly
        Wind going flat out
        to fulfill the Greenist ideology.
        But there was a storm out there at sea
        And that storm had huge winds
        So as per their own Windy guidelines
        The wind plant at sea shut down
        For safety reasons
        Which is what happened here in SA in 2016
        So they saw & knew that SA
        Was a crash test dummy in 2016.
        But they just didn’t believe in
        Those facts.

        Ummmmm ?
        Ideology Versus Reality ?
        Greenists keep wanting to ignore reality.
        But reality ALWAYS wins.

        190

        • #
          It doesn't add up...

          The Hornsea wind farm is massive – it’s 407sq km out in the middle of the sea, 120km offshore. Shutdowns for high wind speed would not occur simultaneously across all the turbines – a wind high enough to trigger turbine shutdowns would take some minutes to travel from one side to the other, and it would not be acceptable to switch it all off simultaneously anyway. Moreover, although it was quite breezy, it was a long way short of the 25 m/s shutdown speed typical for turbines. It’s clear that the whole windfarm output was lost instantaneously, which suggests a fault at either end of the cable to shore at the substations. Since they restarted a few hours later, we know there wasn’t serious damage involved.

          21

    • #
      truth

      Last night I saw a set of 3 graphs….for the wind farm..the gas plant…and the PHES that kicked in to try to rescue the situation…but I didn’t save them.

      From what I can remember though the graphs tallied with It Doesn’t Add Up’s analysis…the wind farm crashing …precipitous drop then an attempt to recover ….then the final trip…its big drop happening BEFORE the gas plant tripped…and then the PHES trying valiantly to save the day.

      As with here I guess the gas plant’s role would have been for balancing the huge wind generation…but at record wind was maybe not up to the unprecedented job.

      AEMO will probably report on it but with wind’s role seemingly being played down by UK authorities ..I wonder will we get the truth here from ours…as they try not to frighten the horses.

      50

    • #
      It doesn't add up...

      The gas plant that fell over wasn’t idling. That’s not to say that the grid have been allowing wind production uncurtailed while scheduling less conventional plant than perhaps they ought to have done with a half eye on the record book. Load balancing was being provided largely by Dinorwig pumped storage.

      20

  • #
    Eddie

    It has been quoted that the Grid was only delivering about 30GW at this time hence the relatively larger impact of losing about 1.4 GW

    70

    • #
      Eddie

      You may find an image of usage at the time here. (Dont know if links are currently posting though) :- https://mobile.twitter.com/AyrtonBourn/status/1160184101653155841/photo/1

      50

      • #
        Jonesy

        The guy will find anything to back wind…check any of his previous tweets to see who he bats for.

        50

        • #
          Eddie

          Maybe so Jonesy but I don’t think the widely available data showing demand around 30GW is in contention and he did a handy graphic illustrating it.

          00

      • #
        It doesn't add up...

        The graphic on the frequency is correct, but the labelling of the events is wrong. There was a loss of about 850MW of wind, but only less than half that for CCGT. Therefore the first big loss is the wind farm, and the second smaller one is the CCGT plant. It is highly implausible that both gensets at the CCGT plant were lost simultaneously when the grid was operating normally. However, if the wind farm went out first, the CCGT generators would have followed the frequency lower, with the extra whammy of a large chunk of 850MW more demand because of the loss of the wind farm output that had been supplying the main grid transmission line next to the power station, which would have slowed it down to the frequency at which it tripped out for safety reasons.

        20

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      They were lucky it wasn’t winter.

      60

      • #
        Gerry, England

        The seasons provide two different scenarios. In summer our demand is much lower but that means unreliable generation from wind makes up a larger proportion – as we see here it looks like nearly 50% – and that can result in exactly what we have just had. In winter the problem is that there will be a shortage of supply due to the coal plants being forced out of business and nobody willing to risk investing in gas generation either. Get a stalled high pressure system that kills wind power while bringing freezing temperatures and you have a problem. Less likely to cause a blackout because big users will be told to shutdown work to conserve supply before that can happen.

        40

      • #
        Eddie

        Winter might have saved them with a lot more inertia on the system. Their ‘most wind ever’ would have been a far smaller proportion of the generation in winter when demand is higher

        10

  • #
    Hot under the collar

    Coincidences do happen, but sometimes the ‘coincidence’ is the obvious staring you in the face. When there are gale force winds across the UK and the National Grid have just boasted that the proportion of UK energy generated by wind power has reached a record high of 47.6% then, 30mins later, a wind power outage and small sub-station outage takes down a significant part of the grid then; to suggest the sub-station was the initial cause would be akin to reasoning that the Titanic hit the iceberg after it sank.

    260

  • #
    David Maddison

    For the pagan “earth hour” south east Australia has strong winds and road blockages due to snow in higher altitude areas…

    When are the political scientists who masquerade as real scientists going to work out that the earth is probably cooling?

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/damaging-winds-hit-south-east-coast-of-australia/news-story/1370ef8ae2ce0355ccc38d9fa0b69c6b

    160

    • #
      Bill in Oz

      I wonder what the Greenists will say ?
      That this freezing was caused
      BY GORE BULL Warming perhaps ?
      Or
      That it happened despite
      GORE BULL WARMING ?
      Whatever !
      But it seems like mother nature
      Is not following the Greenist climate script

      60

      • #
        yarpos

        They were out in force on a Footy blog where people were commenting on the snow flurries at the AFL game in Canberra. To much global warming comments bought out the retorts that Canberra isnt the world and the Earth is still warming. They will still be ranting about it as they are buried in snow, you will hear the muffled cries about warming from the snow drifts.

        A few tried to correct warming to change , but offered nothing beyond wanting to change the phrase.

        150

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Your their ABC:
        Finally, before anyone screams, “It’s snowing! Climate change is a lie!”, cold extremes still exist in a warming climate.

        Or, warm extremes still exist in a colding climate.

        Then someone called Dr Trewin pointed out an “interesting quirk”, which was more a flaccid excuse, a flop, a flippy-floppy-flappy thingy. From the article:

        Snowfalls in Australia have a colourful history, we reminisce, as south-east braces for cold blast

        50

      • #
        glen Michel

        Climate emergency

        10

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      “Probably”?
      it really is cold here this winter!

      80

  • #

    It was extremely windy yesterday and demand for power would have been high as it was rush hour on a Friday.

    The wind farm is certainly involved but whether it ceased to operate due to high wind speeds or cut out when another power generator cut out a minute earlier and tripped it, or whether there was a software fault is unknown. There is a major enquiry started already with a brief to find the causes quickly

    Tonyb

    81

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Tonyb:

      How can a gas fired plant affect a wind farm?

      The probable cause was high winds in the North Sea pushing up output for a short time. The gas station was only running at 50% and a drop in wind output was enough to push the frequency down to the cut out point. The gas plant shut down as programmed.
      NOTE: The gas plant was restarted 25 minutes later so nothing was wrong there.
      Whether the wind farm shut down first isn’t clear and is likely to be covered up as long as possible.

      150

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Here is some “good advice” for higher renewables schemes; keep a supply of candles handy, a supply of drinking water, and a battery powered radio. Some undeveloped African backwater?

        https://notrickszone.com/2019/08/07/german-agency-for-disaster-preparedness-calls-on-citizens-to-be-ready-for-widespread-blackouts/
        German Agency For Disaster Preparedness Calls On Citizens To “Be Ready For Widespread Blackouts”
        By P Gosselin on 7. August 2019
        The President of the German Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe (Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, abbreviated BKK) is calling on citizens, government offices and companies to be prepared for widespread blackouts.
        In an interview with German national daily Die Welt, BBK President Christoph Unger warned that in the future Germany faced higher probabilities of natural disasters arising from climate change, such as droughts, heat waves and flooding, but said his greatest concern was a power outage.
        Over the years Germany has added more and more volatile supplies of wind and solar power to feed into its power grid. This has made keeping the frequency within the needed range an increasingly difficult challenge. For example, the German DWN here reported how in June earlier this year “Europe’s electricity grid faced multiple collapses” and how grid frequency in Germany had “plummeted several times to such an extent that Europe’s entire power grid had been endangered.”

        80

        • #
          Analitik

          Plus a reasonable sized generator to keep the fridge/freezer running and a few jerry cans and a gas bbq.

          60

      • #

        “How can a gas fired plant affect a wind farm?”
        I like Jo’s quoted explanation up there because it can be expanded.
        she quoted from “It doesn’t add up:” Who typed “You can think of grid inertia as the flywheel energy stored in the rotating heavy generator turbines.”
        In this case you have two lots of inertia. One can accelerate and decelerate suddenly at the whim of the wind. The other will be attempting to combat that. The transmission lines that connect them together can be compared to a steel shaft on poles with bearings instead of insulators. One problem is that this shaft is about 300kM long or more. A steel shaft this long would have spring tension twisting up a bit one way, relaxing and twisting up the other way as the two generators continually attempt to differ. The transmission line has resistance, inductance and capacitance to make it behave like this. Not hard to see the time delay in this power wasting action causing it to never quite stabilise. It would be worse with a lightly loaded grid as the load would dampen the change.

        30

      • #
        It doesn't add up...

        The gas plant didn’t restart for some hours, and neither did the wind farm, although it managed to get back to 848MW at 9p.m., so whatever caused the trip did no serious damage.

        20

  • #
    Gwyn ap Neath

    Somehow I thought that the use of windpower would be behind this. As for finding the real cause – you can bet that there will be a strong determnination to cover it up, especially if it paints “renewable” energy in a bad light. Nothing like this happened when we relied just on coal and nuclear power for electricity generation.

    290

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    ICYMI, abc 7.30 report did a 7 minute piece on the state wide blackouts in South Australia in 2016 and the upcoming court case:

    Broadcast 7:30pm Wed 7 Aug 2019. Published 3 days ago, available until 8:00pm on 6 Sep 2019, it’s titled “Power Struggle”:

    https://iview.abc.net.au/show/7-30

    The then state premier, Jay Weatherill, blamed the extreme global warming @2.43: “The blackout was triggered by the weather event.”

    - Yes, climate change, aka global warming, is now weather.

    >> I would hope the lawyers question why the renewable energy didn’t prevent the extreme CO2 global warming in the first instance as it is claimed it will do:

    “At UN Environment, we believe that sustainable energy presents an opportunity to transform lives and economies while safeguarding the planet.”
    https://www.unenvironment.org/explore-topics/energy/why-does-energy-matter

    140

  • #
    TdeF

    The problem is having a grid at all. The new grid in Australia is a creation of Canberra, part of centralizing everything in Canberra so they can control it when electricity was a state problem, related to natural resources over which states have exclusive rights. Whether geographically vast Australia needed a grid is debatable but given that coordinating generators over 4,000km requires total synchronization to a tiny fraction of a second, the one thing they did not need was random wind generation in the mix. It’s like a troupe of the Rockettes, except one might be in Cairns and one in Perth and they have to be exactly in line forever.

    While Tesla won the battle of AC over DC entirely on the point of long distance power, this may have to be overturned if the grid is to ever work reliably and nationally. The solution is UHV, Ultra High Voltage as used in China. DC at over 1.2Million volts. A single wire. That would isolate the states completely. Blackouts caused by windmills which have no natural frequency would be localized, rather than bringing the country to its knees.

    This means completely rebuilding the grid, just to accommodate this planet saving wind power because of a belief that the CO2 increase is man made, which it isn’t, and that CO2 causes warming, which it doesn’t, and that warming is bad, which it isn’t. So even higher electricity prices to pay carpetbaggers to build another grid, which we didn’t need in the first place. Great.

    360

    • #
      Lance

      @Tdef.

      UHV DC is only cost competitive for distances longer than about 1000 km. The substations that transform the AC to UHV DC are expensive. USD 500 Million each. You also do NOT want a single wire UHV DC system. Using the Earth as the return path can cause disastrous corrosion on pipelines and grounded structures because “they” become the sacrificial anode. At least a 2 wire system is needed. Cost per mile for transmission lines is approx USD 1.6 Million or about USD 1 Million per km.

      See: https://www.wecc.org/reliability/2014_teppc_transmission_capcost_report_b+v.pdf

      The UHV DC systems are limited to about 5 total substations because of economics. HVDC is not a cure all. It is one of many options. Fluctuating frequency at the input substation is still a problem.

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      • #
        Lance

        Additional HVDC and UHVDC resource information for those interested in such things

        https://iea-etsap.org/E-TechDS/PDF/E12_el-t&d_KV_Apr2014_GSOK.pdf

        This paper is a bit more favorable towards the HVDC systems, which I somewhat disagree with for disparate reasons, however, it does have a lot of useful information.

        I’m not against HVDC. Just leery of the costs and limitations. Caveat Emptor.

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          TdeF

          1,000km is not a great deal in Australia. So UHVDC is competitive. Melbourne to Sydney is 800km, Sydney to Brisbane another 800km and Brisbane to Cairns 1600km and these are roughly straight line differences. Adelaide to Perth 3000km etc.

          Competitive means you may as well. However when you consider the billions we are being charged for the system, the windmills, the solar panels, the gifts to the Clinton Foundation and more, it is a pittance. We already had statewide grids which worked for half a century. All we need is to connect them so that they are isolated and DC will do that. Possibly we could use the existing towers. Then each state can have as much silly wind power as they want without bringing down everyone.

          As for $500million, SA spent $100Million putting in a battery backup which lasts 4 seconds. That said, it does a good job in preventing a total collapse when a single windmill or farm goes offline suddenly.

          So no need to be leery of the costs. Someone needs to look at what we are spending today to centralise all power in Canberra on a giant AC network.

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            TdeF

            The last time I saw a figure for the utterly mad Snowy II, it was $6Billion. No one justified it. It was a gift from Malcolm Turnbull to the Nation, his legacy. Another mothballed Green system like the four giant desalination plants we did not need, none of which is being used and the total cost of which will be with interest on the never never plan, $100Billion. All going through Merchant Banks like Goldmann Sachs, but then Turnbull was MD of Goldmann Sachs Australia. No conflict of interest there in Green projects?

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            • #
              TdeF

              We should also demand Malcolm’s parting gift of $444million cash back from his friends who were given the money without even applying for it. To ‘save’ the Great Barrier Reef ostensibly, without actually having any idea how to do it or without an proof that it needed ‘saving’. Great money if you can get it. 7 1/2 tons of gold to his friends.

              So don’t worry about cost justification and any justification. It does not matter to Canberra and for the pollies and the public servants in their own city, it’s all play money.

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            • #
              TdeF

              Better still, use the useless Snowy II cash to isolate all the states with UHVDC. With our distances, it is cost effective. Sure there is a billion per line for the converters at both ends, but otherwise we can use the same pylons. Now that is a far better use of the money being wasted pumping water uphill with coal so that windmills can pretend to be useful.

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              • #
                yarpos

                Not really sure what you are trying to achieve it seems like one cost or another cost. As long as the interconnectors load limit and trip as designed we get the same result as per the SA Statewide outage where the VIC interconnector dis-interconnected.

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              • #
                Graeme No.3

                It fits in with the Renewables idea;
                SPEND lots of (other people’s) money installing turbines, because wind power is cheap.
                THEN SPEND lots of (other people’s) money installing solar to make electricity cheap.
                THEN SPEND lots of (other people’s) money installing batteries to cover for erratic supply.
                THEN SPEND lots of (other people’s) money installing pumped storage to cover days with no supply.

                And finally (after lots of kicking and screaming) SPEND lots of (other people’s) money installing reliable generation.

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        • #
          James

          What do you need for an inverter to convert it back to AC?

          10

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Thanks Lance.

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    • #
      Peter C

      The problem is having a grid at all.
      The solution is UHV, Ultra High Voltage as used in China. DC at over 1.2Million volts.

      A better solution is having more electricity generators, placed nearer to the point of demand.
      Small modular Nuclear Reactors would do the job nicely. Coal plants work best close to the coal mine but there is likely plenty of gas if only we can get out governments to lift their bans on exploration and fracking.

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        TdeF

        Yes, we could in principle overwhelm the system with lots of steady power from high mass generators, but the grid would fail anyway. Or use the wind and solar only locally. Especially lunchtime domestic solar. It is farcical to suggest that this is power you can push up the distribution system to nearby factories. It should be a scandal but no one says anything and we, the people without solar, have to pay the owners for their generosity with a system for which we paid half in the first place.

        In the UK collapse, the UK has still has coal and nuclear from France and gas. Still the grid went down on a tiny amount of wind and gas gone offline suddenly. That is the lesson to be learned from the UK failure. You cannot insulate an AC system from catastrophic collapse in a tiny fraction of a second. Worse, to get the system up again can take hours, which is even more damaging as AC systems have to be connected carefully, one at a time.

        Parallel AC grids are incredibly vulnerable. A tiny difference in phase or amplitude or frequency will destroy a generator on a grid. They all disconnect for safety. The risk is too great. DC grids however are not vulnerable at all. The voltage can go up and down without problem. There is no synchronization required. Problem solved.

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        • #
          Lance

          If it were as simple as you claim, there would be only HVDC grids in the first place.
          That didn’t happen for a lot of very real and proper reasons.

          As to using existing towers, only if the height and spans support the insulator lengths and conductor weights, phase separation distances, and clear height over terrain and motorways.

          As to DC grids not being vulnerable at all, that it nonsense.

          Voltages can vary, but while they do, the currents vary as well in opposition. Therefore, the reactance and losses vary in synch. At the higher voltages, the corona losses become intolerable as do the power losses to feed them.

          The real issue is that power generation, transmission, and distribution have been well handled for a century until politicians and art history majors injected their wisdom into an otherwise stable system. Let the power engineers and public utilities handle this and they will most likely do a better job of it than all the well intentioned busybodies who think this is simple. Anyone who thinks this is simple hasn’t a clue. Anyone who trades dispatchable power for intermittent power and thinks the reliability will remain the same is a moron.

          The answer is ultimately to get the meddlers out of it and let the professionals do the job they are well able to do.

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            RickWill

            The real issue is that power generation, transmission, and distribution have been well handled for a century until politicians and art history majors injected their wisdom into an otherwise stable system.

            Without the politicians, economists, lawyers and art majors controlling the grid there would be NO intermittent generators permitted to connect to the grid. That would ruin the source of income from my grid connected rooftop solar.

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          Analitik

          TdeF, the problem is not parallel AC interconnections but reliance on interconnections to keep the grid stable. Interconnecting grids should only act to provide flexibility for maintenance and some market based load shifting. It is the reliance on interconnections to distribute power that could/needs to be generated from remote, disparate sources that has made grids fragile. Add in the unpredictable,intermittency of “renewable ” generation plus their inherent lack of synchronous inertia and periodic failures of the type are inevitable.

          Whether interconnections are AC or DC is irrelevant.

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      • #
        Graeme#4

        Perth uses small gas turbines located along the north-south main gas pipeline. These can be started quickly to supply additional power at peak times.

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        • #
          Lance

          Quickly is a very relative term.
          Grid collapse can happen is less than 5 minutes.
          OCGT take 10 to 15 mins to spin up. CCGT take longer to reach capacity.

          Unless there is a Plan, there isn’t a Plan.
          Spinning those GT units in hot standby with no load for free isn’t happening. Somebody has to pay.

          Before all of this “free energy”, it was what, $50 / Mwh? Now it swings up to $14,000 / Mwh?

          How’d that happen? Bad Luck? Pixie Dust? or Mismanagement and Political interference?

          Reliable Electricity isn’t magic. Just a lot of hard work.
          Driving a market by politics isn’t magic either. All about applied stupidity and corruption.
          Surviving under these conditions IS magic.

          There’s a reason Sailing vessels converted to steam, diesel, etc. Give it a think.

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          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Lance:
            My grandfather, when young, sailed around Cape Horn. There he was standing on the first cross tree of the foremast, 40 feet off the deck (plus freeboard+his height) and he was looking up at the top of the waves. When he climbed down the second mate expressed pleasure at the favourable weather they’d got.
            Shortly after that my grandfather became very interested in steam engines (and came out to Australia looking after 6 on another ship).

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            • #
              Lance

              Your Grandfather had balls of steel and wisdom beyond his years at the time. I’m grateful that such men lived, and somewhat ashamed of how following generations have squandered their sacrifices.

              Smart gives one an advantage.
              Hard work gives one survivability.
              History, well understood, lets one stand on the shoulders of previous experience and knowledge.

              Self indulgence, arrogance, willful ignorance and stupidity, entitlement mentality and laziness destroy everything that everyone in all of history have achieved.

              Methinks the crossroads are near, dear, and to be feared.

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          Analitik

          That’s so old school. They should have batteries for this

          /sarc

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            Graeme No.3

            That is so old school. Like SA they have diesel generators (STOR scheme). Trouble is the start-up time.
            Perhaps they could schedule the unreliability of renewables?

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  • #
    stuart lynne

    I suspect that the gas plant going down first could be the issue.

    If the system was under-provisioned with high inertia generators then losing even a small one that may have been sufficient to allow the frequency to drop.

    This points to the previously made points that you can’t replace 100% (or possibly in this case as much as 50%) of your baseload with low inertia generators. You need to have both backup generators for when your wind and solar go down, but also enough high inertia generators available at ALL times to ensure grid stability.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      Apparently, the gas plant was in idle mode to allow for mandated input by wind.

      Yes its output was near zero, BY RULES.

      Then the wind farm failed to provide

      Then the gas plant tried to ramp up but couldn’t match frequency, so disconnected.

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      • #
        AndyG55

        error correction

        “Yes its output was near zero below 50%, BY RULES.”

        The problem came when it tried to ramp back up due to other fluctuations

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        TdeF

        That’s the problem with wind, so many high quality resources have to be spinning ready to cut in within a fraction of a second just waiting for it to fail. What an enormous waste! Because wind is not commandable, you need just as much power anyway, so what’s the point of all the expense to pretend we have ‘free’ wind power. Coal and gas are free too. So is uranium. We cannot run cities and factories on random energy.
        As Bob Dylan wrote, “You may as well try and catch the wind.”

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  • #
    Mal

    All foreseeable by any competent professional engineer
    If Liddel closes, Australia will be next
    Once trains stop running in Sydney and Melbourne and lifts stop working , hospitals without power on a more frequent basis then we might reach a turning point
    However the damage will have been done
    We will have a lost generation and a permanent decline in our standard of living

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    • #
      el gordo

      Angus Taylor says they won’t close Liddell and he has put all options on the table.

      His big stick to the free marketeers gouging the system, play fair or we’ll buy you out. A form of socialism with Australian characteristics.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Whatever works …a size 12 boot up the rear end has a certain appeal, in this case…. :-)

        Old school management of troublemakers….

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        PeterS

        Angus Taylor is playing it too softly. He should by now be mandating that any new power sources added to the grid must meet all the criteria for a reliable and stable supply of power. That rules out wind and solar even if they are backed up by massive farms of generators and batteries because it would cost far too much without subsidies.

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        • #
          el gordo

          If they take away the subsidies the renewable industry will collapse.

          ‘The current subsidy scheme will be phased out from 2020. The subsidies to which Morrison refers are from the Renewable Energy Target (RET). But it is hardly news that the scheme will be phased out from 2020. This has been known for a decade.’

          The Conversation

          In an energy vacuum coal will be king again.

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          • #
            OriginalSteve

            We seem to be in a brain vacuum too….

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          • #
            PeterS

            Let’s hope so because we are falling way behind most other nations who are building more and more coal fired power stations (and nuclear) and as a result we are becoming less competitive in the global landscape. Any talk by the lefties in both major parties of closing down any more coal fired power stations must be treated as an act of economic terrorism. It’s time for PM Morrison to make that point loud and clear instead of avoiding the issue and instead making it sound that reducing emissions is a good thing.

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            • #
              el gordo

              Patients is required.

              ‘It feels like the Labor Party has a new attitude when it comes to the dreaded “C” word: coal.

              ‘Craig Kelly and Joel Fitzgibbon have had plenty of interest in their parliamentary Friends of Coal Exports group.

              ‘There’s been a veritable stampede to join renegade Liberal MP Craig Kelly’s new buddy club: Parliamentary Friends of Coal Exports.

              ‘Opposition frontbencher and Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon bolted out of the blocks, offering to co-chair the group.

              ‘Now it can be revealed three more Labor MPs have said “I’m in” to Kelly’s coal corroboree.’

              SMH

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    • #
      RickWill

      then we might reach a turning point

      You clearly have not taken in Audrey Zibelman’s message. What happened in the UK is simply “load management”. As Audrey has explained, expecting 100% reliability is unrealistic. UK needs to be conditioned to such circumstances as Australians and New Yorkers are:

      Load shedding occurs when demand is too great, so the energy authority directs power companies to create rolling blackouts in different parts of the network so the entire system is not at risk.

      Those in the new world should not expect 100% grid reliability in a carbon free grid. What is more important, a reliably grid or so-called “carbon neutral” generation from intermittent subsidy farms.

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    Lance

    If the synchronous thermal plants were not already at hot standby, then loss of wind generator can be catastrophic. Event OGT can’t respond in less than 20 mins unless you want to ruin the turbine. CCGT takes even longer.

    The wind plant inverters synch to the thermal plant frequency pulse. If they lose the governing pulse, they disconnect automatically because they have no reference pulse.

    The protective relaying is there to save the grid, not to cover up for the inadequacies of unreliable generation.

    UK came very close to finding out what a “Black Start” scenario looks like. They were fortunate, lucky, blessed, that things weren’t very much worse.

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      Analitik

      The National Grid operators simply did what Australian operators have had to do in the past few years and that is to allow load shedding to include major metropolitan areas. The South Australian 2017 blackout has shown that it is far easier and faster to bring back up disconnected segments than performing a complete black start.

      They have demonstrated that practical lessons, developed in the face of impractical, politically imposed operations, have indeed been learned from our local experiences. Such is the price of the “renewables transition “

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      • #
        Lance

        Analitik:

        Those “disconnected segments” only exist as outliers because the synchronous thermal grid and protective relaying allowed the remaining grid to survive.

        It is delusional to think the “segments” are an anomaly. If non dispatchable power generators become the majority, those “segments” will morph into the only islands that have power.

        A Black Start takes 6 times the total grid capacity that existed at the time of the blackout. If that isn’t available, then the grid can take weeks or months to restart. The residential grid comes first because it has resistive loads. Only after that is restarted can the inductive load / heavy industrial/commercial grids be started. This is because of the reactive power necessary for motor load restart.

        Nobody who understands grid scale power EVER wants to even attempt a Black Start. We don’t even know IF it can be done, much less when. Yes, it is “easier” to restart segments of a grid. But. That presupposes that a sufficient grid still exists to restart them. What if it doesn’t? What if it is an ENTIRE GRID that has to be restarted? What’s the plan to go from Zero to 50 Gw in AU? For the US it is Zero to 1,040 GW “average load” in zero seconds.

        This isn’t about windmills and solar panels. It is TeraWatt scale. I don’t think that people understand this. Batteries won’t do it. Windmills won’t do it. Solar won’t do it. If there isn’t enough thermal synchronous generation to equal at least half of the connected load at blackout, a restart is not possible.

        Hello, 1850. That’s what happens.

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          Analitik

          If this is in response to my closing statement, please note that it was entirely sarcastic.

          I fully agree with your post

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          • #
            Lance

            Understood.

            Been doing this some 35+ years. Frightening to see whats become of it.
            Used to have decent grid and reasonably intelligent people.

            Seems that emotions and fantasy have overtaken reality for far too many.

            No ill taken.

            Cheers, Mate.

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            • #
              Analitik

              Please don’t take anything I said as being unappreciative of your posting. I learn something from you (or have old memories reinforced) whenever you post.

              My rather flippant tone was intended to indicate how the grid operators have to cope with the impossible constraints brought about by politically motivated mismanagement. Dropping urban segments to retain working generation assets (for minimising overall disruption) is the Hobson’s choice that it’s forced by current operations

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        • #
          Analitik

          Readers should further note that the grid operators did they load shedding on grid segments with no or minimal thermal generators to preserve as much online capacity as possible to reconnect the isolated segments once sufficient capacity was available.

          They are fully aware of the consequences and the implications of their actions. It has all be carefully planned due to previous experience. Engineers learn from others mistakes – it’s part of the profession.

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          • #
            Robber

            AEMO invites companies that can shed load to offer their electricity usage/services as “reserve” – and then they get paid to do so. The Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) is a function conferred on AEMO to maintain power system reliability and system security using reserve contracts.

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            • #
              Analitik

              The amounts of load shedding available from demand management contracts (now available in Victoria for households as well as industrial users) is entirely insufficient for the shortfalls likely in South Australia and Victoria due to the green policies enacted by Marxist state governments (with the support of Federal policies enacted by spineless centrists). Only large urban grid segments provide enough demand reduction to prevent total grid collapse in the face of the shortfalls that are now likely.

              I had not known that the UK grid had been compromised to a similar extent until Friday’s outage. But when one looks at the generation mix over there, the problem is obvious. I had thought Scotland would face this issue in the past.

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    pattoh

    You would have to wonder what the stats on major blackouts would be in the period between WW2 & the beginning of “Alertnative Power” – (those caused through industrial action) for the British Isles compared to after Windfarms were introduced.

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  • #

    It’s probably useful to look at the next energy battlefield.

    Prof McKay, a former scientific advicer to the uk dept of energy and climate change, said around 10 years ago that burning gas would be a thermogenesis crime.

    The uk has plans to ban new domestic gas boilers in favour of heat pumps at a date originally planned as 2030 but with the current climate hysteria that could be a lot sooner.

    So what with unreliable renewables and the phasing out of coal and gas the mysteries of where our power will come from is set to be the new mystery of the age

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    • #
      PeterS

      Where? Nuclear. That’s what France is heavily dependent on at the moment. UK imports a fair amount of it from France. If they didn’t UK would most likely be having power blackouts more frequently.

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        beowulf

        What are the power supply arrangements from France/Netherlands under a No Deal scenario?

        Could France cut off power supplies to spite the UK, and say enforce fishing rights for French trawlers in UK waters which they would otherwise be excluded from?

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Both France and the Netherlands are getting lots of money from the expensive UK market, and I am sure they will be happy to keep doing so.

          As for French trawlers fishing in UK waters, well there is something called the British Navy which has experience in thwarting previous French attempts over sovereignty. Besides it is the Spanish fishing (and Danish siphoning of sand eels) that upsets the poms. Less so, it must be said, than losing the last Test to Australia.

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        • #
          beowulf

          Yeah but Graeme I wouldn’t put anything past the Frenchies. Honour and vengeance before profit, especially with Macron at the helm.

          The poor old Royal Navy has been so gutted and neglected in recent years (apart from a new carrier) that it is having difficulty fending off a few row-boats with illegals in them in the Channel. Only has a couple of patrol boats. It’ll be like the Cod Wars all over again, trawlers rammed, nets cut. The French have rammed UK trawlers trying to fish for cockles in French waters as the UK is entitled to do under the Common Fisheries Policy. When they don’t ram them outright, they swarm them to make it impossible to trawl. Been going on for years unchecked. They do as they please.

          It was a major stretch for the RN to send a second frigate to the Gulf to defend shipping recently. Apparently there will only be 2 RN vessels there for a few weeks overlap after which the first will have to return to Blighty. From memory the RN was down to about 9 serviceable ships or some ridiculous number and it still has to patrol northern waters under its NATO obligations. It has lost about 2/3 of its ship numbers in the last 30 years or so. It’s almost that bad that Australia could lend the RN a ship or 2. Maybe they could scrounge a few WWII surplus PT boats.

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            Graeme No.3

            beowulf:

            I refer you to Parkinson’s Law (from memory published in 1957) Author C.Northcote Parkinson. In it he traced the decline of the number of capital ships, officers & men, & dockyard workers as against the increase in dockyard officials and (above all) Civil Service clerks in the Admiralty.
            Supporting the extra Public Servants reduced the funds available for new ships. I think you will find (if you can get those figures) that the UK has a very large LAND BASED Navy.

            P.S. I hear that the British Navy has more Admirals than ships.

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    • #
      Analitik

      Professor McKay also wrote a comprehensive paper that demonstrated the futility of trying to use renewables and demand management to replace thermal generation. The problem is that he wrote in a manner that suggested how renewables could work and then did the math to show how unrealistic and impractical it was.

      The problem is that greentards are incapable of doing the math (or plain unwilling to admit to the implications) and use his work to promote renewables. McKay was a warmist but also a (semi-closet) nuclear power advocate

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  • #

    That should be ‘thermogenic crime’ quite how spell check came up with the other word I don’t know

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    Another Ian

    “If wind farms cannot be made more resilient against severe weather or instability caused by grid component failures, and if we assume for the sake of argument that future climate change will bring more severe weather and disruption and damage to infrastructure, there probably isn’t a lot of point building wind farms.”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/08/10/australian-government-sues-wind-farm-operators-over-the-2016-south-australian-blackout/

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  • #

    Everything basic you’ve taken for granted now needs to be precarious, rationed, uncertain. By all means marry your favourite (underage) lampshade and insist on it having its own pronoun and citizenship. Just don’t expect to turn on the lamp to make light.

    STOP GLOBALISM.

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    • #
      PeterS

      Depends on what you mean by globalism. At the moment the global trend is to build more and more coal fired and nuclear power stations. Renewables will continue to supply a tiny fraction of available grid power in spite of the claims by certain Western leaders that we must move to renewables with great haste. Reality bites. In case no one hasn’t noticed our political masters are treading on egg shells and are too scared of telling the truth about renewables.

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    Maptram

    Will we see the believers blame climate change for the wind storms which caused the grid instability and left them without power for hours.

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    They can’t say they weren’t warned …

    via C Uhlmann, twitter: Here is the report that went on air and on line three days BEFORE the lights went out in SA.

    It included this – “the rise of intermittent wind generation poses risks in managing the stability and reliability of the power grid” …

    South Australia’s enormous July power price spike sounds national electricity alarm: Grattan Institute

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-25/sas-power-price-spike-sounds-national-electricity-alarm/7875970

    It sounds just like this from Paul Homewood at ‘not a lot of people that’:

    Worst UK Power Cut For Decades, As Wind Output Surges

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/worst-uk-power-cut-for-decades-as-wind-output-surges/

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    Dennis

    I noted on the news last night that two generators failed, no mention of wind turbines.

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  • #

    You see, the ‘problem’ here is that no matter what results from this, any Inquiry will be bogged down in blame shifting, and no one will accept that renewables had anything to do with this at all, and exactly the same thing happened in South Australia back on that afternoon of 28th September 2016, when the State went black.

    Because it all happens in an instant, a single point in time, then each side, fossil fuelled plants and wind plants can easily blame the other for the initial cause, and I’ll show you how.

    Look at these two images of the power output Load Curves for the State on that afternoon.

    This first one (at this link) is for all the fossil fuelled generation. Note that twelve hours or so earlier, there was a much increased output from those fossil fuelled plants, winding back as the wind, and wind power picked up.

    The second one (at this link) is for all wind power generation. Note the steady rise in output from wind across the day from that low of 300MW to over 1100MW, hence the winding back of fossil fuel output.

    Note that at the single point in time, and you can see it right there on each image, everything went down.

    “Say, this was not the fault of wind power plants.”

    “Say, this was the fault of wind power plants.”

    Pick your answer for whichever ‘meme’ your side of politics or media want to propagate, and you can guess which one that was.

    It was a reliance on wind power at the expense of grid stability which blacked the State out.

    The transmission towers, umm, fell over in the high wind taking wind power from their plants to the wider grid. Now there’s a lack of power compared to demand, and all the others then go offline,and the now overloaded Interconnector also went off line. The wind plants are all in areas removed from ‘power generation central’, hence prone to these high wind conditions which could affect transmission towers, and there was no immediate backup ready to be able to take over at a moment’s notice.

    A reliance on wind power at the expense of ‘REAL’ electrical power generation led to this, and the same thing happened in the UK.

    Tony.

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      Robber

      Very interesting Tony, to see those SA generation details on that black day in SA. Before the disaster, wind had been delivering up to 1150 MW, and gas 300 MW, so probably on the brink of system synchronous instability, probably with some exports to Vic. Then wind suddenly dropped to 900 MW and gas increased to 400 MW, and the Vic interconnector also came into play as the changes impacted on Vic generation. Even yesterday AEMO issued directions to the SA market “to maintain the power system in a secure operating state.”
      Currently in SA, wind is delivering 1350 MW and gas 440 MW, with demand only 1210 MW. so maximum exports to Vic of 580 MW. Living on the edge.

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      PeterS

      Yes that’s the way I see it too. Renewables are a protected species because no one who wants a career in politics is willing to denigrate them. Those that do are quickly brought down by their own party. In the US it’s not that much different. The Republican party still are critical of Trump for his stance for coal and nuclear, among other things. It sort of proves the point that the West will fall from within. Outside enemies of the West of which there are a few are waiting for that time before they act accordingly to finish the job. If we are not careful and wake up soon it will be too late to reverse the trend. Perhaps it’s already too late and the rot has set in. Only time will tell.

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      Graeme#4

      I found it very instructive to follow the precise timeline of events, along with a transmission line map. Sure, 2-3 towers/lines failed before the wind generators went out, but when you look at the transmission line map, you realise that those tower/lines failures would not have been the main cause of the blackout. The failure timeline was in fractions of a second.

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      • #
        Analitik

        And this is the crux of the fines that the AEMO is now trying to levy against the wind farm operators – that their systems violated the implied stability requirements for being connected to the grid.

        https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-07/windfarms-taken-to-court-over-sa-blackouts/11393504

        Of course, Muppets like Bruce Mountain and Simon Holmes a Court will have none of it and are saying that the more recent tightening of definitions cannot reasonably be applied retrospectively.

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        Graeme#4 has it precisely.

        Those transmission lines taking power from those wind plants to the main grid fell down, taking a large amount of wind power out of the system.

        As electrical power is so precise, eg, power generation must equal power consumption plus a small percentage for losses, then the grid is now consuming more than it is generating, which cannot happen.

        So, immediately, virtually all power plants now MUST be turned off.

        The Interconnector, already running at or near Capacity, cannot supply the added extra now needed, and it too is isolated.

        All of this DOES happen in fractions of a second.

        What was fortunate in a case like this (if it can be called fortunate) is that this happened in the State with the second lowest power consumption in the Country.

        Had it happened in NSW, (largest) Queensland, (second largest) or Victoria, (third largest) and all of these States consume between sixteen and seventeen times the power in all of South Australia, then it would have been more catastrophic. Having said that it would have been less likely to black out the whole of the State in those large three cases, as there is nowhere near the reliance on Wind power, (by percentage of the overall power mix, with much more coal fired generation) and those States have a more robust grid structure, and are more capable to cover the loss of what would be a minor power supplier (by percentage) as a wind plant or two would be, because in South Australia, those wind plants are a larger proportion of the power supply makeup.

        Tony.

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        • #
          Analitik

          That happens not to be the case.

          If you read through the excellent post event studies by the AEMO, you will see that the transmission tower failures did not cut off the wind farms. What it did was to introduce 2 distinct perturbations in the grid frequency/voltage (since they go hand in hand for AC systems) which exceeded the trip limits of some of the wind farms and caused them to go offline. The remaining wind farms than had their limits exceeded and tripped which THEN caused the generation shortfall and the subsequent overloading of the Heywood interconnector. All this happened over the course of about 2 seconds. I’ll go and dig up the exact document which details all this including the actual frequency swings as well as the precise timeline

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          Analitik

          And here is the final AEMO report for the September 2017 SA blackout.
          The incident analysis is comprehensive and beautifully written and presented (from an engineers’ POV)

          https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Market_Notices_and_Events/Power_System_Incident_Reports/2017/Integrated-Final-Report-SA-Black-System-28-September-2016.pdf

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    Travis T. Jones

    Via comments at catallaxy, this video.

    I viewed it out of curiosity, and stayed for the full hour as it was a most interesting history lesson:

    1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Eric Cline, PhD)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3073&v=bRcu-ysocX4

    Considered for a Pulitzer Prize for his recent book 1177 BC, Dr. Eric H. Cline is Professor of Classics and Anthropology and the current Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University. He is a National Geographic Explorer, a Fulbright scholar, an NEH Public Scholar, and an award-winning teacher and author.

    He has degrees in archaeology and ancient history from Dartmouth, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania; in May 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree (honoris causa) from Muhlenberg College.
    Dr. Cline is an active field archaeologist with 30 seasons of excavation and survey experience.

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    • #
      Another Ian

      I just got an email on John Cleese’s look at “National Preparedness”. The final line is:-

      “And as a final thought – Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.”

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    pat

    Travis T. Jones – comment #21 – posted Paul Homewood link. terrific stuff in the comments, even tho I’m technically-challenged. however, I would point to 2 examples from the comments concerning media:

    comment Jim W August 10, 2019 12:39 pm
    First thing this morning The Times led with an article that clearly pointed to synchronism on the system as the issue. Little Barford disconnected in line with its contract, because there was so much wind on the system the frequency was in danger so it automatically switched off Hornsea. This part of the article has been removed.
    Sounds like a South Australia problem, Javid was at Grid HQ yesterday so Grid put on as much wind as possible to ‘prove’ how a green system could work. Well it didn’t!

    stewgreen August 10, 2019 10:55 pm
    Radio4 6pm news
    “The Grid have said that they not believe
    that a CYBER-ATTACK or UNPREDICTABLE wind power generation was to blame.”
    Who the hell mentioned a cyber attack ?
    I bet very few, if you do a time limited search of Twitter.
    The web page said

    “The director of operations Duncan Burt told the BBC that its systems “worked well” after the “incredibly rare event” of two power stations disconnecting.
    He said he did not believe that a cyber-attack or unpredictable wind power generation were to blame.” –
    BBCNews : UK power cut: National Grid promises to learn lessons from blackout
    (That page has been changed a few times)
    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/worst-uk-power-cut-for-decades-as-wind-output-surges/

    when I went offline last nite, I switched on BBC World Sce and got the news bulletin. the power cuts was the final item and all it said was National Grid did not believe it was a cyber attack! I was flabbergasted. like stewgreen, I thought who said it was.

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    pat

    behind paywall:

    10 Aug: UK Times: National Grid faces millions in fines after power failure chaos
    by Jon Ungoed-Thomas, Lucy Bacon
    The energy regulator Ofgem has demanded an urgent report into the supply failures caused by two power generators at about 5pm yesterday. It has powers to fine the company up to 10 per cent of its turnover…

    following is open access – read all:

    10 Aug: Financial Times: National Grid faces possible fine after power outage
    by Nathalie Thomas in Edinburgh; Additional reporting by Janina Conboye
    The UK government has ordered its own inquiry into power cuts which affected nearly a million businesses and homes in England and Wales on Friday and caused severe transport disruption at the start of the weekend getaway.
    New Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom said on Saturday that she would commission the government’s energy emergencies executive committee to look at the incident after power outages during rush hour caused “enormous disruption”…

    Mrs Leadsom’s intervention came after Ofgem threatened National Grid with a possible fine and demanded a detailed report from the company “so we can understand what went wrong and decide what further steps need to be taken”. This could include enforcement action, the regulator said…

    Some have questioned whether the greater contribution of renewables to Britain’s overall electricity mix could raise the likelihood of such events occurring due to the unpredictability of their output, which is based on weather conditions.

    (Tom Edwards of Cornwall Insight, a consultancy) said renewables such as wind and solar — which accounted for a third of electricity generated last year — do make it more challenging to balance supply and demand across the system but that there is technology, such as batteries, to deal with it.

    National Grid is working on a plan to ensure the system is ready to cope with a scenario where 100 per cent of electricity could be generated by zero carbon sources by 2025, he added.
    https://www.ft.com/content/49d94586-bb47-11e9-b350-db00d509634e

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    • #
      Dennis

      Is that really one third of total or installed capacity of one third?

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    • #
      Lance

      “National Grid is working on a plan to ensure the system is ready to cope with a scenario where 100 per cent of electricity could be generated by zero carbon sources by 2025, he added.”

      Well now. That leaves 5.5 years to make the miracle happen.

      The UK ought be quite interested in that plan. Let’s see, Hmmm. It takes 12 yrs to build a nuclear plant given the protestations of the greenies and lawyers. Coal is out. Gas is out. What hydro options exist when the permit to production time of a hydro plant is some 30 yrs.

      Oh, yes, I see it now. Unicorn farts and pixie dust coupled with Fusion Power which is always a decade away.

      Yes, please, do tell us all, National Grid, how your bucket of miracles will deliver. Let’s also back that promise up with a Public Bond for performance, shall we?

      Good luck. Whatever the plan is, it ought be capable of 96% grid load for at least 120 hrs. Because that’s how long the wind won’t blow and the sun won’t shine in quantity to meet any more than 4% of grid load.

      This is quite amusing. Reality is a harsh teacher, and Nature is, well let’s just say she’s a Bitch.

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    • #
      RickWill

      Ofgem need a new CEO. Wording like this does not cut it in the new world order:

      The energy regulator Ofgem has demanded an urgent report into the supply failures caused by two power generators at about 5pm yesterday. It has powers to fine the company up to 10 per cent of its turnover…

      They desperately need their own Audrey Zibelman who can use the politically correct terminology while avoiding such negative overtones.

      The event was nothing more than a case of “load management”. It is the sort of situation that we all need to willingly accept as we move toward a lower carbon world. Nothing is 100% reliable and expecting the power grid to operate 100% of the time imposes a huge expense on society. Not to mention that 100% reliability is thoroughly incompatible with intermittent generators.

      As an interesting aside, despite Audrey’s insistence that 100% reliability is not possible, AER is suing SA wind farms for the outage in SA a few years ago.

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  • #
    RickWill

    With such a high proportion of wind power the system inertia would have been very low, which would mean the system was much less able to adapt to any disruption.

    Lack of rotating inertia can be easily fixed. Spend a few billion GBP on synchronous condensers or a trillion or so GBP on batteries. But guess what – adding either will increase the cost of electricity in UK.

    I wonder how long it takes for Boris to understand the difference between “intermittent” and “dispatchable”. Also to realise the only source of “renewable” power in the UK is the portion of the Drax plant that is wood fired and it only remains such until North America starts burning wood instead of gas and coal.

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  • #
    Ross

    “According to headlines, at this early stage before the investigation all we know for sure is….”
    Not much. But ‘skeptics’ love to go early, before any pesky facts or science gets in the way.
    Perhaps wait until the investigations are completed? Naaah. Got to feed the fans.

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    • #

      Ross, do copy us in on the letter you wrote to the BBC complaining about how they “went early” reporting experts who said this was not caused by wind power. Obviously they are just “feeding the fans”, “before any pesky facts or science gets in the way” right?

      Careful, your blind hypocrisy and religious ideology are showing…

      If the billion-dollar BBC team went out and interviewed the engineers who understood the grid I wouldn’t be blogging about renewable energy. Ponder that I’m unfunded and live 10,000 km away yet I could find a better explanation and faster than they could. The more we pay the BBC the worse it gets.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      The OVER-ARCHING problem was the lack of solid synchronous power.

      This is slated down TOTALLY and ABSOLUTELY to the imposition of wind and solar onto the grid. !

      Solid Synchronous power is what enables a grid to maintain frequency within a small usable tolerance.

      Sorry if you are “UNAWARE” of basic facts, Ross. !!

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    pat

    ***BBC: it was one million CUSTOMERS, not “people”, as is clearly indicated all over the map, titled “England and Wales power cut – CUSTOMERS affected in each supply area”, which you include in this article. watch the Duncan Burt video:

    10 Aug: BBC: UK power cut: National Grid promises to learn lessons from blackout
    VIDEO: 1min19sec: The National Grid’s operations director (Duncan Burt) explains why nearly one million ***people lost power on Friday
    National Grid power was restored by 17:40 BST on Friday but some train services continued to be disrupted on Saturday…
    ◾London North Eastern Railway, which runs between King’s Cross and the north of England and Scotland, said services were returning to normal, but a small number of trains were cancelled
    ◾Great Northern services are still facing disruption and passengers are being advised to check their train’s status before travelling…
    Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Gatwick Express, says it is investigating why the power cut had such a severe effect on its trains.
    Thameslink trains were particularly badly impacted as GTR had to deploy technicians to manually restart trains north of London…

    The German-built trains that left passengers stranded
    By Ben Ando, BBC News correspondent
    The trains worst affected are the relatively new Class 700 and Class 717 commuter trains built in Germany by Siemens to specifications laid down by the Department for Transport.
    They were introduced onto the British network for Thameslink and Great Northern services from 2014.
    When the power died, the trains would have switched to back up batteries to keep essential systems going.
    But getting the trains restarted once the power came back was not straightforward. Drivers found that in some cases the on-board computers had shut systems down more fully, so a technician was needed.

    The Class 700 fleet is normally fast and efficient, but GTR has already launched an investigation with Network Rail and Siemens to examine what went wrong this time.
    And it’s likely that the manufacturers will be asked to examine how they respond to serious power failures in future.
    Battery performance is also likely to come under scrutiny – a back-up diesel generator cannot be fitted to these trains because they spend much of their lives in long tunnels…

    Passenger Dayna McAlpine told BBC Radio 5 Live her train took nearly 13 hours to reach London King’s Cross from Edinburgh – a journey which would normally take less than five hours.
    “By hour seven things were starting to get pretty tense,” she said. “People were threatening to self-evacuate off the train… Food ran out about five hours ago.”
    Others on social media reported having travelled for 12 hours, while some rail passengers were stuck on trains until the early hours of the morning.

    At the worst point of the power cut, about 500,000 ***people were affected in Western Power Distribution’s area…
    In London and south-east England, 300,000 ***people were affected…
    BBC Radio 5 Live listener Ed, in Woodford Green, north-east London, said he felt “totally cut off” as mobile phone networks were also down…
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-49302996?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/uk&link_location=live-reporting-story

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  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    How did a relatively minor cause the widespread outages reported here:
    “Western Power Distribution, which serves the Midlands, South West and Wales, said 500,000 people were affected.
    More than 100,000 homes in Devon were left without power, and around 300,000 UK Power Networks customers were affected in London and the South East.
    Northern Powergrid, which serves Yorkshire and the North East, said 110,000 customers lost power while Electricity North West said a further 26,000 customers were affected.”

    As was said “it doesn’t add up”

    Also, they have been very quick to rule out any cyberattack which is a prejudgement if I ever saw one.

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    • #
      el gordo

      A cyber attack across the bow of Brexit.

      00

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        There have been quite a few unexplained outages of late, and as I posted previously, USA is looking to go back to a manual system

        04

    • #
      AndyG55

      The frequency dropped to unsustainable levels.

      Frequency fluctuations would vary all over the place, and local substation sensors would trip at slightly different sensitivity levels. (Natural variability.. like climate.)

      This means that some areas get hit and other don’t.

      As some areas tripped, the frequency started to stabilise.

      Either that or someone just started taking random (or maybe pre-listed) areas out to try and stop a complete collapse of the whole grid.

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    • #
      el gordo

      “We think that worked well; we think the safety protection systems across the industry, on generators and on the network, worked well to secure and keep the grid safe, to make sure that we preserved power to the vast proportion of the country,” Mr Burt said.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      read #14.1.1.1

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    • #

      Peter Fitzroy mentions this:

      How did a relatively minor cause the widespread outages reported here:

      Minor what? (but I suspect he just failed to proof read and left out the word event)

      How easily we fail to learn from history.

      Read this time line for the Great Northeastern Blackout of 2003. (at this link)

      A relatively minor occurrence ended up blacking out most of the North East of the U.S. and parts of Canada, cutting power to 55 Million people, and that’s all it takes, and note towards the end of that time line that it all happens in one minute and 26 seconds, the bulk of it in 23 seconds.

      And here, note how quickly Peter Fitzroy suggestively jumps to the conspir@cy the0ry aspect.

      (Funny isn’t it, that’s the thing these people hold against those of us who don’t agree implicitly with everything they believe, and yet he’s always the first to suggest a conspir@cy)

      Tony.

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    pat

    no surprise Independent would go with such a headline:

    10 Aug: UK Independent: UK power cut: Wind generation not to blame for outage that hit one million, National Grid boss says
    Technicians investigating why gas and wind-powered generators went down ‘near-simultaneously’ on Friday
    by Lizzie Dearden, Home Affairs correspondent
    A major power outage affecting almost a million people across England and Wales was not caused by a failure linked to wind power, a senior official at the National Grid has said.
    Duncan Burt, director of operations for the National Grid Electricity System Operator, said the “incredibly rare event” was triggered by two power stations – gas and then wind – disconnecting near-simultaneously on Friday.

    Questioned on Radio 4’s Today programme on whether wind turbines may have cut out in stormy weather and gales, Mr Burt said that was not the case.
    “The events we saw yesterday really have nothing to do with changes in wind speed or the variability of wind,” he added.
    “There was severe weather on the network [but] we routinely operate the grid now at very high levels of wind power.”…

    David Hunter, an energy analyst at Schneider Electric, said the scale of disruption should act as a “wake-up call” for National Grid, as well as for businesses, hospitals and critical national infrastructure to ensure they have failsafes in place…
    He said there was a “very high percentage” of wind generation on Friday, and that it was not as effective at absorbing sudden fluctuations in frequency as gas, coal and nuclear power.
    Mr Hunter added: “The growing wind part of the energy mix creates challenges that the National Grid must demonstrate it can meet.”…
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-power-cut-cause-national-grid-wind-gas-energy-latest-a9051016.html

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  • #
    pat

    when will MSM stop saying “a million people”, when it’s a million customers, which could mean 3 million-plus people or whatever. given DM’s headline below, the gist of the article is ridiculously way down in the piece:

    11 Aug: Daily Mail: Revealed: Britain was hit by TWO blackout ‘scares’ in the last three months as experts blame the UK’s over-reliance on wind energy for the worst power cut in years – but boss of National Grid claims ‘the system worked really well’
    •Power outage on Friday afternoon hit almost a million people across the country
    •It has now emerged there were two other sharp drops in energy supply recently
    •A leading expert is warning that blackouts will become ‘increasingly frequent’
    By Jonathan Bucks and Jake Ryan and Sanchez Manning for The Mail on Sunday
    One expert, Jeremy Nicholson, of energy firm Alfa, said he feared there might be worse to come because of Britain’s growing use of renewable energy.
    ‘Has the National Grid been taking the actions that are necessary to keep the lights on when there’s not much conventional generation on the system?’ he added. ‘This is going to be increasingly frequent in future as our dependence on wind and solar grows.’

    Data seen by The Mail on Sunday has also revealed there were two significant drops in the stability of the UK’s electricity supply in May and June. Last year, the UK generated 33 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources, up from 6.5 per cent in 2010.
    Energy experts said using coal and gas power stations makes it easier to cope with fluctuations and outages because they hold more latent capacity – known as ‘inertia’ – in their systems.

    Mr Nicholson said of the two incidents earlier this year: ‘It wasn’t quite outside of the operational range but if it had been slightly tougher and one or two other things had gone wrong then we would have been in similar territory.
    ‘Because there was so much wind and solar on the system, there was very little conventional generation – coal and gas – which provides inertia that helps stabilise the frequency of the grid. The system should have coped. So when National Grid say things like, “the system worked” and that the power blackouts didn’t spread, that’s like a doctor saying the operation was a success but the patient died. It’s not much comfort to consumers.’…

    Part of the problem is the obsession with ‘renewables’ such as solar and, particularly in Britain, wind power. We ignore how patchy their contribution is. The wind doesn’t always blow…
    Relentless green optimism, moreover, has helped divert us from the truth – that there has been no coherent planning for electricity since the Second World War. Our entire national system is dangerously fragile and getting worse…

    Now, under a policy regime aimed at reducing global warming, coal has been abandoned, replaced by more distant and scattered packages of renewables, mainly wind farms – some small, some gigantic. These wind farms have put the network under even greater stress…
    Then, there is the near-insoluble problem of variability, where wind can be pumping power into the system one moment, and, minutes later, producing nothing…READ ON
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7344969/Experts-blame-UKs-reliance-wind-energy-worst-power-cut-years.html

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    pat

    saw this yesterday:

    10 Aug: Accuweather: Rare August windstorm to batter UK into the weekend
    By Eric Leister
    An abnormally strong storm system is sweeping through the British Isles, and will bring the risk for a prolonged strong wind event along with bouts of heavy rainfall.
    Gusty winds are set to sweep across the British Isles into Saturday…
    These winds will be capable of causing tree damage along with local power cuts and travel disruptions…
    This stormy weather pattern is forecast to continue for much of the remainder of August, limiting the chance for any additional heat waves this summer…
    https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/scattered-showers-and-a-rare-august-windstorm-to-batter-uk-later-this-week/70009005

    then I heard BBC last nite go on about the following stuff about wind/climate change/jet stream, but I can’t find anything in searches or on their programs summaries that mentions it:

    8 Aug: Phys.org: Jet stream study confirms aircraft turbulence risk from climate change
    by University of Reading
    Climate change is having a greater impact on the jet stream than previously thought, according to a new study published in Nature.
    Scientists at the University of Reading have discovered that the jet stream has become 15 percent more sheared in the upper atmosphere over the North Atlantic since satellites began observing it in 1979.
    Because wind shear generates turbulence, the new study provides the first observation-based evidence to support previous Reading research that human-induced climate change will make severe turbulence up to three times more common by 2050-80.

    Lead author Simon Lee, Ph.D. student in Meteorology at the University of Reading, said: “Over the last four decades, temperatures have risen most rapidly over the Arctic, whilst in the stratosphere—around 12 km above the surface—they have cooled. This has created a tug-of-war effect, where surface temperature changes act to slow the jet down, while temperature changes higher up act to speed it up.
    “Our study shows these opposing effects currently balance out, meaning the speed of the jet stream has not changed. However, we looked for the first time at the wind shear, where significant change has previously gone unnoticed…
    Professor Paul Williams from the University of Reading’s Department of Meteorology, who led the new study together with Dr. Thomas Frame, was the first to link increased turbulence to climate change…
    LINK
    https://phys.org/news/2019-08-jet-stream-aircraft-turbulence-climate.html

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    • #
      pat

      perserverance has paid off and it’s worse than I thought, because BBC did the jet stream/wind stuff immediately following a power outage segment with Ben Ando, which makes NO MENTION WHATSOEVER OF THE WIND FARM:

      14min in, Ben Ando on the power outage; then immediately at 16min30sec BBC’s Jonathan Savage with Prof Williams/Reading Uni on the jet stream/wind/climate change segment. ends 18min43sec:

      AUDIO: 23min: 10 Aug: BBC Newsroom
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172wyglxj7cyfl

      at least Ben Ando says a MILLION HOUSEHOLDS lost power.

      10

  • #
    Ve2

    Doesn’t matter how high the maximum power generated by is, the only thing that matters is the minimum.

    10

    • #
      AndyG55

      Sorry, not quite correct.

      Germany has issues with the occasional over-supply of wind electricity.

      Excess power has to be DUMPED somewhere or things can go very wrong !

      The ideal is to be producing pretty much the same amount, minus losses, as what is being used..

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      • #
        Hanrahan

        Surely they must always be in balance in a properly functioning grid. If there was excess generation the load on individual turbines would drop and they would speed up increasing freq which MUST be controlled and the only way to do that is to reduce power. That may be by venting steam or by turning mill blades off optimum.

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  • #
    oldbrew

    The Guardian reports recent near misses in UK power system…

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/12/three-blackout-near-misses-in-three-months-says-national-grid

    Looking a bit wobbly to say the least.

    10