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"But many of the companies tasked with supplying the “safety net services” – such as batteries and diesel farms, which are banks of small-scale generators – have warned that National Grid is not doing enough to safeguard the system against blackouts."

DB2

=================================================================

Blackouts are rare in the UK. We probably have 10 times more blackouts in the US than UK experiences. Of course small generators and energy storage are wise moves to make with more wind energy in the UK and US. Utilities are making those improvements all the time. Of course some people like to complain that the sky is falling.

jaagu
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The fact remains: Wind and solar are the most expensive, the most unreliable and the most useless sources of electricity in existence.

There MUST be an error somewhere... How can this be true???

Hey, the generation is FREE!!!

This news is prolly being promulgated by some Commie seditious group...

Bunch of anti-fossil fuel, anti-NUKE fanatics... we'll larn'em!

There IS widespread stupidity going on... it is left to the reader to figure out where...
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Here in Central Texas I get all renewable energy from my electric utility. A mix of wind, solar, hydro. We have no problems and it is pennies per month more expensive than the "traditional" electricity.

It's a transitional phase. Even traditional power generation is known to go down from time to time, no? The only reason to hang on to coal and natural gas is you simply don't believe the climate is in peril, or that the cost of that peril will not be high. But you gotta wonder why Saudi Arabia, of all countries, seems to be investing so heavily in renewable energy... But if the scientists are right, and I tend to think they are, we have a bigger looming problem than periodic power outages.

Speaking of, lots of people are working very hard on energy storage. In other words, these problems will get solved. Look up the Nova documentary "In Search of the Super Battery".

By the way, I'm not anti-nuke (depending on the nature of the reactor, I really don't want another Chernobyl or Fukushima).
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"The fact remains: Wind and solar are the most expensive, the most unreliable and the most useless sources of electricity in existence."

Thanks for the laugh.

I also don't see anything in the article stating why the wind farm shut down unexpectedly, I'm going to assume the wind didn't just suddenly stop blowing.

You also forgot to mention this:

"EnAppSys, an energy consultancy, said the blackout may have been caused by the unexpected shutdowns of the Hornsea offshore wind farm, which is owned by the Danish wind farm company Orsted, and the Little Barford gas-fired power plant, owned by German utility giant RWE."

Wait, what? A gas-fired plant also unexpectedly shut down? How could that be? Clearly gas-fired plants are the most unreliable and the most useless sources of electricity in existence!
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I'm going to assume the wind didn't just suddenly stop blowing.

As a long time sailor I can assure you that wind does suddenly start/stop blowing. With experience one does have some warning but not always.

I know from personal experience that wind can blow the blades off a windmill. It happened to me on a dark and stormy night approaching Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines where I spent one of the loveliest weeks at anchor.

Not to worry, sun and wind were backed up by the alternator on the diesel engine. A sailboat is an energy microcosm. Long before renewables became popular with landlubbers, long distance sailors had to cope with the limitations of battery charge. At a minimum you need enough juice for your navigations lights. Researching the issue decades ago the solution was "all of the above." Sun, wind, diesel/gas generator, and shore power to feed two battery banks, "house" and "starter motor." They require different kinds of battery, house long, slow discharge and starter motor short bursts of very high amperage. Some things worked on DC and others on AC so there needed to be a combination of inverters and rectifiers. AC and DC conduction behave differently so in some cases there also had to be double wiring.

My point is that renewables present a lot more complexity than most bloggers are aware of. One interesting example, wind would not need battery backups if the power grid were built underground out of high temperature superconductors. The power loss would be so small that you could ship juice from where it was blowing to where it was not with hardly any loss. The difficulty, of course, is the capital investment to rebuild the power grid. Underground the power grid would be much safer from wildfires and terrorists.

The Captain
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Thanks for the laugh.

I also don't see anything in the article stating why the wind farm shut down unexpectedly, I'm going to assume the wind didn't just suddenly stop blowing.

===============================================================

Your comment is spot on.
Ajax gets 8 recs for this idiocy.
How can these 8 people be so stupid?

Wind energy is providing mega electricity to Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, Europe, China, Japan, and many more states and countries. If wind energy was a problem, these states and countries would not be plowing so much money into this clean, cheap and safe energy source.

jaagu
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Wait, what? A gas-fired plant also unexpectedly shut down? How could that be? Clearly gas-fired plants are the most unreliable and the most useless sources of electricity in existence!

==============================================================

Yes all power plants have some probability of unexpected shutdown or trip. When a 1100 MW nuclear power plant trips, it results in a big jolt to the grid that must be accommodated with other power generators and/or shedding of load.

jaagu
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...a sudden loss of frequency of the electricity grid, to below 49Hz, which would have caused certain parts of the network to disconnect automatically, causing the power cuts. [Note: In the UK the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz.]

More renewables mean less stable grids, researchers find
www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2018/01/more-renewables...
According to a paper published this week in the journal Nature Energy by researchers from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and the UK’s Queen Mary University of London, integrating growing numbers of renewable power installations and microgrids onto the grid can result in larger-than-expected fluctuations in grid frequency.

DB2
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More renewables mean less stable grids, researchers find

And from Germany...

Record 1.4 billion euros to stabilise power grid
www.cleanenergywire.org/news/record-14-bln-euros-stabilise-p...
The costs for power grid stabilising measures rose to a record 1.4 billion euros in 2017 (880 million euros in 2016), says the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) in its report on grid and system security measures.

DB2
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More renewables mean less stable grids, researchers find

And from Switzerland (with DeepL Translator)

Gefahr eines Blackouts nimmt zu
Danger of a blackout increases
www.bazonline.ch/schweiz/gefahr-eines-blackouts-nimmt-zu/sto...
The electricity grid in Switzerland is becoming increasingly insecure. Network operator Swissgrid must increasingly intervene and order measures so that it does not cause serious problems in network operation. This is shown by an evaluation of the statistics published by Swissgrid.

In 2011, Swissgrid only had to intervene twice in the power grid. Since then, the number has increased significantly. In 2016, it was a hundred times more than five years before, namely 213 measures. This record was exceeded in July already in 2017. By the end of August, Swissgrid had to intervene 274 times in a stabilizing manner....

DB2
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"The fact remains: Wind and solar are the most expensive, the most unreliable and the most useless sources of electricity in existence."

Thanks for the laugh. I also don't see anything in the article stating why the wind farm shut down unexpectedly, I'm going to assume the wind didn't just suddenly stop blowing.

1. Yes the wind can stop suddenly.

2. Yes, the wind farm can shut down unexpectedly.

3. And that is why wind farms need backup gas/diesel generators to immediately step in, fill the void and keep the grid stable. This proved to be a major failure in this case.

4. So, where was the back up turbines for the wind farm? No answer.

Look at the evidence, thanks to wind and solar, South Australia has a very unstable grid and the highest power prices on the planet - $0.50 per kwh.


-=Ajax=-
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More renewables mean less stable grids ...

==================================================================

Germany has lots of wind and solar. Germany has the most stable grid in Europe and about 5 times more stable than in the US. I have posted this fact many times on this board.

The variability of renewables can be taken care of with proper electrical engineering and the addition of on demand power like batteries, hydro, biomass, and wheeling of power. Batteries are great for maintaining grid frequency.

jaagu
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The costs for power grid stabilising measures rose to a record 1.4 billion euros in 2017 (880 million euros in 2016), says the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) in its report on grid and system security measures.

=======================================================

This is peanuts and money well spent when compared to the cost of a nuclear power plant like the French, Finns and Brits are building.

jaagu
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1. Yes the wind can stop suddenly.

2. Yes, the wind farm can shut down unexpectedly.

================================================================


Nuclear, natural gas, coal, hydro, biomass and geothermal power plants have stopped suddenly and shutdown unexpectedly. So your statements have no point.

Now why don't you back up your statements with facts on mean time to failure/shutdown for each type of power plants.

jaagu
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UK power cut: Wind generation not to blame for outage that hit one million, National Grid boss says

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.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-power-cut...

I guess Ajax doesn’t want us to have gas generating plants eiuther, because, you know, require backups.

I guess he doesn’t want us to have internet service either, because, you know, fake news. Or in this case, the ability to find true news which contradicts Ajax’s story.
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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.

I guess Ajax doesn’t want us to have gas generating plants eiuther, because, you know, require backups.


This statement doesn't make sense because the wind plant "disconnects" 75% of the time simply because the wind doesn't blow all the time.

Therefore, just because the wind stopped blowing doesn't mean you have a Grid Failure and stating that the Grid Failure took place when a wind farm went down betrays a deeper problem: The wind farm is operating without the required backup gas/diesel generators needed to keep the grid stable.

This is the same problem we saw in South Australia. Grid instability, total outages, rolling blackouts and the most expensive electricity on the planet.

Bottom line: Wind farms require watt for watt backup gas/diesel generators to keep the grid stable.


-=Ajax=-
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Bottom line: Wind farms require watt for watt backup gas/diesel generators to keep the grid stable.

===================================================================================

The naysayers of 100% renewables are known as the all-of-the-above faction. They agree with the need for deep cuts in carbon pollution. They acknowledge that coal is dead, despite the Trump administration's schemes to keep it on life support. But they argue we'll continue to need nuclear power, and need to replace coal with natural gas plants equipped with technology to capture carbon and store or sequester it deep in the earth. They say an all-renewable grid would be too expensive, and there is no convincing evidence it's feasible.

None of those arguments stand up.

A 2015 analysis conducted by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley found that 100% wind and solar power — in conjunction with energy efficiency, energy storage and other advances to complement renewables — could provide electricity to the continental U.S. more reliably than the current system by 2050, and at lower projected costs.

That study is among 60 from around the world reviewed in a recent paper by an international team of scientists, showing why 100% renewables is an achievable and affordable option.

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/is-100-renewable-energy-for...

jaagu
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Wind generation not to blame for outage that hit one million, National Grid boss says

Nah, it was Boris Johnson that done it.

Boris blamed for power cut chaos that brought Britain to standsill
https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/10/boris-blamed-power-cut-chaos-...

More seriously, it is a little early to reach conclusions.

While the National Grid boss man says it wind was not to blame, it was certainly involved (an unindicted co-conspirator?). There were two generating stations that went out, the first a gas fired plant at Little Barford. The Barford unit is indeed little, with a 730 MW capacity; the UK grid is some 60-80,000 MW, so this was a 1% drop. If the UK can't handle that then they really are in trouble. Of course, the Hornsea wind farm is only 1.2 GW, so they may be in trouble anyway.

At the same time it was very windy. Earlier in the day the National Grid Electricity System Operator noted a new wind record. "NEW WIND RECORD! According to the Electricity System Operator @ng_eso, at 5am this morning metered transmission wind was generating 47.6% of GB electricity. Additional wind connecting directly to local networks make it highly likely wind was powering over 50% for the first time!"
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EBmE3QlXoAEVUtg.jpg

The grid shut down because the frequency dropped below 49Hz (standard is 50). Frequency control in the grid has long been seen as more vulnerable in a system with high percentage of renewables. Here the drop in generation occurred before the frequency drop.
https://twitter.com/dcelal/status/1159865162263928832/photo/...

At any rate as noted in the original linked article, “We will need to wait for National Grid’s full technical investigation to get to bottom of that.”
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.”

DB2
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The grid shut down because the frequency dropped below 49Hz (standard is 50). Frequency control in the grid has long been seen as more vulnerable in a system with high percentage of renewables. Here the drop in generation occurred before the frequency drop. https://twitter.com/dcelal/status/1159865162263928832/ DB2

This link nails it. It shows that the drop in frequency occurred after the drop in generation meaning the failure was caused by the fact that the wind farm did not have the very necessary backup gas turbine generators.

This is another example of the scientific illiterates designing engineering systems based on wishful thinking and ignorance.

We saw the MBAs, the bankers and accountants at Boeing designing the 737 MAX killing machine - and Boeing facing the prospect of bankruptcy as a result.

In the area of renewables, the quacks of Global Warming insist that wind and solar are viable sources of electricity never mind the costs, the inherent instability, the power outages, the fact that electrical prices are going through the roof or the fact that these systems emit more CO2 than the traditional fossil fuel plants they are replacing.


-=Ajax=-
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National Grid 'had three blackout near-misses in three months'
www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/12/three-blackout-near...
National Grid had experienced three blackout “near-misses” in as many months before Friday’s major outage left almost a million homes in the dark and forced trains to a standstill around the UK....

Steve Shine, chairman of Anesco, a battery company, said: “It would be easy for National Grid to write this incident off as a fluke event, but they have actually been aware of this potential issue for many years.”....But many of the companies tasked with supplying the “safety net services” – such as batteries and diesel farms, which are banks of small-scale generators – have warned that National Grid is not doing enough to safeguard the system against blackouts.

The UK’s booming renewable energy output can make it more difficult for National Grid to balance the frequency of the grid, which was originally built to accommodate fossil fuel power plants, which generate more intensive energy.

DB2
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<<Steve Shine, chairman of Anesco, a battery company, said: “It would be easy for National Grid to write this incident off as a fluke event, but they have actually been aware of this potential issue for many years.”....But many of the companies tasked with supplying the “safety net services” – such as batteries and diesel farms, which are banks of small-scale generators – have warned that National Grid is not doing enough to safeguard the system against blackouts.
>>


Of course the problem with renewable energy has ALWAYS been its high cost and unreliability. These defects have simply been ignored by environmentalists, who really don;t give a fig about such things as long as they get what they want.


Seattle Pioneer
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Of course the problem with renewable energy has ALWAYS been its high cost and unreliability. These defects have simply been ignored by environmentalists, who really don;t give a fig about such things as long as they get what they want.

========================================================

Engineers and scientists have already proven that wind energy is cheap, safe and clean.

Wind energy in the UK produced 20% of the electrical energy consumed in 1Q2019.

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/data-portal/electricity-generation-...

Environmentalists, engineers and scientists in the UK give a million figs about cost and reliability.

jaagu
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Engineers and scientists have already proven that wind energy is cheap, safe and clean.

"But many of the companies tasked with supplying the “safety net services” – such as batteries and diesel farms, which are banks of small-scale generators – have warned that National Grid is not doing enough to safeguard the system against blackouts."

DB2
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"But many of the companies tasked with supplying the “safety net services” – such as batteries and diesel farms, which are banks of small-scale generators – have warned that National Grid is not doing enough to safeguard the system against blackouts."
DB2

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In Germany, these are now being called "grid stability units". In other words, reliable fossil-fueled generators running to keep the grid frequency stable to avoid these kinds of outages recently seen in the UK.

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-ne...

London — German power grid operator Amprion has reopened tenders for two 300 MW of grid stability units after the tenders were suspended in the first quarter, a spokesman told S&P Global Platts Tuesday.
.
.
Last summer, grid operators Amprion, TenneT and TransnetBW called for bids for 1.2 GW of highly flexible generation units to be built in South Germany to help stabilize the grid from October 2022 amid the final phase of the nuclear exit.

-------------------------------------------

Truth is, any power generator can trip off-line for any number of reasons. The 1965 Northeast Blackout happened because a transmission line from a hydro station at Niagara Falls tripped off, resulting in a cascade failure throughout the US Northeast, as well as parts of Canada. This doesn't mean that hydropower is no good. What it means is that enough redundancies need to be in place to handle a shutdown of a large generator with minimal impact on the grid.

The industry has a term called "spinning reserve". This is the amount of power that is already "spinning", that is already producing power at low levels, and can be quickly ramped up in case of a large power plant shutdown. My suspicion is the UK didn't have enough spinning reserve on-hand to deal with the loss of the large windfarm and the gas plant.

- Pete
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"But many of the companies tasked with supplying the “safety net services” – such as batteries and diesel farms, which are banks of small-scale generators – have warned that National Grid is not doing enough to safeguard the system against blackouts."

DB2

=================================================================

Blackouts are rare in the UK. We probably have 10 times more blackouts in the US than UK experiences. Of course small generators and energy storage are wise moves to make with more wind energy in the UK and US. Utilities are making those improvements all the time. Of course some people like to complain that the sky is falling.

jaagu
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