This is a summary of a much longer article by Allister Heath; DT Business Section, 21 Jan 2015.
It has been a bad week for the wind industry. The cold weather has increased electricity demand. During the cold snap the wind turbines have generated virtually no power. Very embarrassing for an over-hyped industry.
UK demand was 52.54 GW on 19 Jan at 5pm. Wind power's contribution was 0.57 GW.
The makeup of the electricity delivered at that time (each component rounded to the nearest percent) was:
42% from burning gas
29% from burning coal
16% from nuclear fission
5% from pumped storage and hydro
5% from the French interconnector (mainly nuclear)
1% from wind
It should be remembered that coal is still hugely important. (If Drax power station was closed for any reason, there would be no electricity north of Leeds - Ed.)
Wind farms operate on average at 28% of their rated capacity. That average is of no use when we need vast amounts of electricity. These numbers are a complete catastrophe and a devastating indictment of UK energy policy, which has focused too much on wind and which has been based on unrealistic targets and incomplete information.
The wind industry has been given enormous subsidies but it is not fit for purpose. It contributes when the wind is blowing at the necessary speed (and only then if the Grid is in a position to accept it), but the cost is unacceptably high, and this hits the poor.
Renewables have their place, but they should be used appropriately in situations where they can survive without handouts.