“Green” initiatives across the United Kingdom are running head first into reality this week as cold temperatures, cloudy skies, and still air are rendering wind and solar farms largely useless.
In response to the devastating realities of weather uncertainties, the U.K. has been forced to confront the fact that it still very much has to rely on natural gas and coal in order to meet both energy demands and provide life-saving sources for heat production.
As Breitbart reported, even previously decommissioned coal-fired power plants are once again churning out energy to meet demands.
The United Kingdom is presently calm, cloudy, and cold, leaving the burning of natural gas picking up the slack for becalmed ‘renewable’ generation, and even coal-fired power plants saved from being decommissioned this winter ordered back online to keep the lights on.
Three coal-fired power plants, two at Drax in Yorkshire and one at West Burton in
Lincolnshire, were ordered to make themselves ready for use in the early hours of Sunday morning as a cold snap — predictable for winter, perhaps — combined with short cloudy days and very little wind sees solar and turbines producing little energy.
The socialized grid announced the measures in the early morning hours Sunday, declaring in bureaucratic language that “winter contingency coal units should give the public confidence in Monday’s energy supply.”
Open source data from the grid shows the “Start-Up” orders to the three stations at Drax and West Burton were made over the course of four minutes in the three o’clock hour this morning. The Grid emphasised that while they had ordered the plants to stand up, this didn’t guarantee they were actually going to be used, calling them an “additional contingency”.
The Grid’s publications on power underline the dramatic impact the weather can have on generation in the United Kingdom, where there has been a concerted push under the long-lived Conservative government to move away from traditional power sources towards ‘green’ alternatives.
The United Kingdom already has low output from solar power. Even in peak summer months when the sun is shining, solar accounts for just about 7% of all energy output. In the winter, with the tilt of the earth for the northern climate, solar can hardly be expected to do much for the country’s total energy needs.
Wind, surprisingly, offers a much more robust output. Last week, for example, during a particularly windy week, wind farms were able to provide over 50% of the country’s energy needs. At the same time, reliance on natural gas was just around 10%.
Of course, despite greenies pointing to that wild success in clean energy, the reality is that mankind does not control the weather and is held to mother nature’s own plans and whims.
This week, with a calm countryside, wind turbines are at a near standstill. Meanwhile, the country’s energy needs remain the same.
One wonders if the same environmental activists will refuse to heat their homes or cook their food this week given the source of their energy. After all, climate zealots petitioned to have the U.K. government permanently shut down three of the coal plants now in use again last year.
It seems a safe bet that big talk is not accompanied by a big walk. Maybe we’re wrong.
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