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dakta

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As many will already be aware there's a very interesting site (https://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/) which allows, in almost realtime, one to view the loading on the national grid and see the proportions to which different energy production methods are contributing to meet that demand.

I don't watch it religiously, but over the years had a peek and it only seems a short while ago coal was neck and neck with gas turbines, and glancing this week we've had, not just on occasion, but good lengthy periods of time where wind and solar combined have effectively been meeting near or just over half of demand.

I remember (again not very long ago) having lengthy debates with people about whether wind or solar would ever be able to stand its own in the overall energy mix, - there's a time and place for saying how much further there is to go (I am a petrolhead and generally not too into such discussion), but I do note we have come some considerable distance haven't we.

Not really a question as much an observation
 
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Bald Rick

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As it happens the last few months have had an unusually low quantity of wind power generated. However I confidently predict that wind power records will be broken in the next few weeks, as a lot of new capacity has come on line in the last few months. We’re not too far away from having 20GW of wind power being generated (instantaneous).

Using similar data, but with some extra sources and the ability to look historically is Electric Insights by Drax.


There are also links to reports every quarter explaining generation statistics and news / trends from the electricity market.
 

Mcr Warrior

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As many will already be aware there's a very interesting site (https://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/) which allows, in almost realtime, one to view the loading on the national grid and see the proportions to which different energy production methods are contributing to meet that demand.

Not seen this before. What things in the display should one be particularly focussing on? :s
 

Mcr Warrior

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So, just now, overall demand is c. 32 GW (GigaWatts).

Gas turbines (CCGT) supplying 14.7 GW (46%)

Nuclear 4.9 GW (15%)

Wind 7.5 GW (23%)

...the rest (c. 16%) coming from?

And the frequency is 49.979 Hertz (cycles per second), with 50.000 Hz being the "norm"?
 

Darandio

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...the rest (c. 16%) coming from?

It's the smaller ones at the top right. Hydro, Biomass and things like permanent connections to France, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands etc. For the latter in times of surplus you will see us sending it back the other way.
 

Mcr Warrior

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What can overall demand sometimes rise to, and the grid still cope, without outages?
 

Bald Rick

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And the frequency is 49.979 Hertz (cycles per second), with 50.000 Hz being the "norm"?

50.000 Hz is the nominal grid frequency. But it can vary.

Meanwhile Drax reports that the current wholesale price is £231/MWh, which is very high. However it has been in three figures for most of the last month - high gas prices combined with the French inter connector failure and less wind than normal. We had spot prices of £4000 earlier this month which is unheard of.

However good newspaper on the way - it’s going to be much more windy for the next few days, half of the IFA interconnector with France should come back on line next week, and most importantly the North Sea Link interconnector with Norway goes live on Friday, which will give us access to 1.4GW of Norwegian Hydro electricity, which should lower the price and offset the other have of the lost French supply. And then the guys in the NG control room will exhale heavily.

What can overall demand sometimes rise to, and the grid still cope, without outages?

In recent times the record instantaneous demand was a shade over 60GW, although that is unlikely to be reached again for some time yet. Electricity demand has been falling steadily for several years, as electrical devices become more efficient - we’ve rarely been above 40GW for the last few years. In theory there is loads of spare capacity, even with the decommissioning of almost all coal plants and a few gas plants. However on dark windless winter days we will be needing most of the gas plants to be running and imports from most of the interconnectors to Europe, plus the various energy storage (pumped storage, batteries) to get us through the peak load in the evenings. On the latter point, I was surprised to find out today’s that the U.K. has as much Grid level battery storage power on tap as their is at Dinorwig pumped storage (c1.8GW). Albeit the batteries will last only an hour at that power, whilst Dinorwig can last 6.
 
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Mcr Warrior

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Meanwhile Drax reports that the current wholesale price is £231/MWh, which is very high.
Domestic UK electricity is priced at something like 14.37p per kWh, I believe, which translates as £1437 per MWh, so a bit of a mark up on the wholesale price, but no doubt various additional costs along the way!
 

Bald Rick

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Domestic UK electricity is priced at something like 14.37p per kWh, I believe, which translates as £1437 per MWh, so a bit of a mark up on the wholesale price, but no doubt various additional costs along the way!

It varies by whoever supplies your electricity and on what deal - some are paying over 25p / kWh.

To put it in context, the average wholesale price for electricity over the last few years has been (cash price, not allowing for inflation, MWh) :

2017 £44.01
2018 £57.20
2019 £41.94
2020 £35.62

For the last month it has averaged £178.26, which shows the impact of the wholesale gas price, and higher demand.

And I’m afraid your maths is a little out, as the conversion factor from kWh to MWh is 1000, so 14.37p / kWh = £143.70 / MWh.
 

Domh245

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What can overall demand sometimes rise to, and the grid still cope, without outages?

The peak winter demands (~5pm on Cold days as everyone gets home) have been consistently around 45GW the last few years, reaching around 50GW back in 2016/17. These are calculated on the half-hours consumption so it's quite possible that there are individual spikes that are even higher within that time frame.

In recent times the record instantaneous demand was a shade of 60GW, although that is unlikely to be reached again for some time yet.

How long ago is recent, or is this a question of where the demand is being measured (or non-averaged)? I think most demand measurements are calculated "at-the-meter" though I can't say for sure - when you account for the Transmission & Distribution losses of around 9% then the 45GWs of recent years become ~50GW at the generators
 

Bald Rick

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How long ago is recent, or is this a question of where the demand is being measured (or non-averaged)? I think most demand measurements are calculated "at-the-meter" though I can't say for sure - when you account for the Transmission & Distribution losses of around 9% then the 45GWs of recent years become ~50GW at the generators

At least a decade ago I think - I’m going by the power system records that Drax keeps.
 

Domh245

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At least a decade ago I think - I’m going by the power system records that Drax keeps.

Ah that explains it. National Grid's triads for 2007-10 show a few 58GW periods and the odd 59GW - well before my time! It does look like all the sites (including the other gridwatch) use the same data sources (Elexon for the bulk of the data and Sheffield University for estimates of solar IIRC) but the Drax website is by far and away the best presentation of it! That they also integrate some other statistics like CO2 and price (which is where I think National Grid come in to it, they've got some useful data feeds) is very useful indeed
 

dakta

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At the moment wind is providing nearly 40% of the demand, whilst it will always vary and can easily drop to next to 0, it is amazing it's capable of making such a dent in demand - who'd have thought that ten years ago.

It's correct that things are getting more efficient too, I recently built a new PC and noted the power consumption of the new CPU for instance was considerably less than the one it replaced, at a 25% boost in benchmark performance, and the power supplies i've been speccing for builds over time have not gone up in wattage

Also there was a feature on https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000t8zl/the-secret-science-of-sewage about part of a sewage plant that was extracting what appears to be quite a reasonable amount of gas from solids filtered from sewage, which is apparently actively contributing to the gas network, so even some of those CCGT readings could one day be quite clean and renewable - the even demonstrated a car running on it with reasonable range which actually was more of a conversion - i.e it was a converted regular (initially petrol) engine.

Interesting stuff.
 

dakta

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I share the same opinion, this is not to nullify some valid concerns but I do think it has a space to contribute far more. It is, drawbacks aside, very consistent.
 

Bald Rick

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Currently 4.8GW (14.5%) is nuclear. Swap to the French one, 40.7GW (80%) is nuclear. This fear of nuclear and tiny amount of use is a national disgrace.

In normal circumstances we take 2-3GW of that French nuclear power off them. That will be lifted to up to 4MW next year when the ElecLink interconnector is commissioned through the Channel Tunnel. (Commissioning is underway now).
 

TheEdge

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In normal circumstances we take 2-3GW of that French nuclear power off them. That will be lifted to up to 4MW next year when the ElecLink interconnector is commissioned through the Channel Tunnel. (Commissioning is underway now).

So we pay the French for their electricity and help ensure a French workforce has well paid, high skill stable employment?

Personally I'd far prefer the UK had some more energy security and growth in the nuclear sector helped to provide those high skill, well paid, stable jobs to a British workforce, rather than another Amazon warehouse.
 

Bald Rick

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So we pay the French for their electricity and help ensure a French workforce has well paid, high skill stable employment?

Personally I'd far prefer the UK had some more energy security and growth in the nuclear sector helped to provide those high skill, well paid, stable jobs to a British workforce, rather than another Amazon warehouse.

They pay us for our wind power sometimes too, though, and will do much more so in future.
 

devon_metro

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Worth noting that sites like these only show metered generation. There's plenty of "unmetered" generation e.g. wind turbines not connected to the grid, or solar. They also add in an estimate of solar which comes from Sheffield University but the unmetered wind is shown as a reduction in demand.

I personally prefer https://gridwatch.co.uk/?oldgw=
 

plugwash

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Domestic UK electricity is priced at something like 14.37p per kWh, I believe, which translates as £1437 per MWh, so a bit of a mark up on the wholesale price, but no doubt various additional costs along the way!
You messed up the decimal point in that calculation. 14.37p per kWh is £147 per MWh.

And retail rates have to cover administrative and distribution costs as well as the raw purchasing of the wholesale electricity.

Electricity "suppliers" are losing money big time at the moment, 10 supplies have failed this summer. Seven have had their customers transffered to new suppliers by ofgem the reamaining three are still awaiting appointment of a new supplier.
 
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GusB

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You messed up the decimal point in that calculation. 14.37p per kWh is £147 per MWh.

And retail rates have to cover administrative and distribution costs as well as the raw purchasing of the wholesale electricity.

Electricity "suppliers" are losing money big time at the moment, 10 supplies have failed this summer. Seven have had their customers transffered to new suppliers by ofgem the reamaining three are still awaiting appointment of a new supplier.
You clearly didn't read the subsequent posts where it was acknowledged that a mistake had been made. :rolleyes:
 

Mcr Warrior

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You clearly didn't read the subsequent posts where it was acknowledged that a mistake had been made.
Indeed, and as @Bald Rick pointed out, a domestic price of 14.37p per kWh would be £143.70 per MWh, not £1437, nor £147 either. Which does make the recent wholesale price of £231 per MWh seem rather high. :lol:
 

Bald Rick

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Meanwhile, the North Sea Link with Norway has indeed started commercial operation today. Right now, 1% of our electricity is coming from dams in Norway.
 
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Meanwhile, the North Sea Link with Norway has indeed started commercial operation today. Right now, 1% of our electricity is coming from dams in Norway.

2.2% at 1100 am.


The graphics on National Grid Live Status, give an instant visual indication of where each proportion of supply is being provided from, rather than a random bunch of dials.


.
 

dakta

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I've no problem personally with the presentation of the data from gridwatch - the bunch of dials I thought was rather structured larger screen real estate given to the heavier produces and handy tooltips if you hover over them.

But I like dials, and each to their own, the data will likely come from the same place.

wind and solar giving 48% atm

wind, solar and nuclear 64%

Solar and Nuclear are neck on neck, nucelar just edging it
 
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