Wind lulls in the first half of 2023.
15 August 2023
Wind Lulls in the first half of 2023
The Electricity System Operator for Great Britain (ESO) publishes its Future Energy Scenarios (FES) every year. The latest, FES 2023, show a significant increase in both installed wind turbine capacity connected to the National Grid from 20.7GW in 2022 to 119.4GW in 2050. But FES2023 acknowledges a problem it calls “Dunkelflaute”. This refers to a period when there is little or no wind – a wind lull.
The table below shows the periods when wind contributed less than 10% of grid demand in the first half of 2023 and confirms that “Dunkelflaute” has a significant effect on the contribution of wind to demand.
Wind lulls in the first half of 2023
||Total Hours <10%
||No of Lulls
||No of Lulls >5 hours
||No of Lulls >10 hours
||Maximum Lull (hours)
The table confirms not only that low wind speeds occur, but that they are frequent and often extended. Assuming weather patterns remain the same in future years, it can also be assumed that wind lulls will not significantly decrease as the capacity of operational wind turbines is increased.
FES2023, in its scenario “Leading the Way” not only predicts that wind generation capacity will increase by 6x by 2050 but that this will represent over 80% of the generating capacity connected to the National Grid. (There is a significant increase in imports via interconnectors and an increase in storage predicted but these are not generating capacity.)
Obviously a reliance on a strategy where wind represents 80% of generating capacity is not sound and having recognised that wind lulls exist, the National Grid should revisit their strategy.