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Professor Membrane wrote: Not now son, I'm making ... TOAST!
Britain’s wind farms almost ground to a halt during the coldest spells in December, it has emerged.
As temperatures plunged below zero and demand for electricity soared, figures reveal that most of the country’s 3,000 wind turbines were virtually still, energy experts say.
During some of the chilliest weather, they were working at less than one-hundredth of capacity, producing electricity for fewer than 30,000 homes.
The National Grid was forced to compensate for the still, cold conditions by cranking up conventional coal and gas-fired power stations.
December was the coldest month in more than a century – and yesterday, as some in northern England, the Midlands and Wales were hit with more snow, residents will have been switching on the heating again. But critics have warned that the UK is becoming too dependent on wind for power.
There are 3,153 working turbines in 283 wind farms across the UK, capable of generating more than 5.2 gigawatts of electricity – enough to power almost three million homes, the wind industry says.
Over the next decade, another 10,000 turbines will go up to meet Europe’s climate change targets. By 2020, the Government says 30 per cent of all Britain’s electricity will be generated by wind.
But at best, turbines work at just 30 to 40 per cent of their capacity. And in cold winter snaps, often caused by vast, slow-moving high-pressure systems over Northern Europe, winds drop to almost nothing.
NEW YORK—Despite heightened demand for renewable energy, growth of the U.S. wind energy industry has lost some wind behind its sails in 2010.
The wind power industry built 5,115 megawatts of additional wind power capacity last year—the lowest new power output since 2006—according to a report by the American Wind and Energy Association (AWEA) this week.
New installations slowed in 2010, AWEA data shows, with many project developers holding off on spending additional cash as they await future federal legislation on renewable energy. Last year’s new installations were barely half of 2009’s new output.
"Wind power is a great deal right now in many areas of the country," said Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA in a statement. "However, our industry continues to endure a boom-bust cycle because of the lack of long-term, predictable federal policies, in contrast to the permanent entitlements that fossil fuels have enjoyed for 90 years or more.”
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