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Coming shortage of UK generating capacity?
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, this is a slight failing of the otherwise useful gridwatch site.
The data only goes back 12 months. So a glance at French nuclear production for the last 12 months shows that production is "normal", which it is if only looking at the relatively recent past.

French nuclear production is however down on that expected, hence the need for imports from us Very Happy

France has relatively little CCGT capacity, but what they do have is being worked hard and burning a lot of gas.

These events MIGHT slightly bring forward a crunch in the UK as regards capacity.
Coal burning power plants are limited in future life to a certain number of hours. We are burning more coal in order to export electricity to France and are therefore "using up" those hours quicker than expected.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coal at 9.6, a record for this season.
CCGT at 25.3 also a record, or very near for this season
A little OCGT running.
Exports to France reduced in the last hour or so, but we are still exporting.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I observe that we are exporting power to France which is most unusual on a Saturday.
For the last couple of weeks we have been exporting to France almost continually on weekdays, due to nuclear outages in France.

It is rare that France needs imports to meet the weekend demand.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will these arrangements be put at risk by Brexit?
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adam2
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Will these arrangements be put at risk by Brexit?


I rather doubt it.
The sale of electricity is a commercial arrangement between our national grid and the French grid. Each supplies electricity to the other when the price offered makes this worthwhile.

At times of no actual shortage, power flows from the higher price market to the lower price market, this can vary frequently and rapidly.
At times of shortage, the spot price in whichever nation is suffering the worst shortage can rise to astonishing levels, thereby attracting imports even if these imports are expensive.

Recently the French price was so high that it was worth running UK OCGT plant in order to export electricity to France.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks to me as though we are "cutting it fine" WRT generating capacity.

Demand tonight is about 49, high but not exceptional
Wind is over 8
Coal is very close to the limit at 9.7
CCGT 21.3

What happens if the wind drops to 1, leaving another 7 to find from elsewhere

We could save 1 by not exporting to France.
Another 1.5 should be available from pumped and hydro, at least short term.
So that leaves about 4.5 to find. We might JUST have another 4.5 from CCGT, 25.8 in total.

If a nuke trips, or if an old coal unit breaks, or if wind drops to 0.5 we could be caught out.
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
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Location: The Marches, UK

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This gives more data variation:

https://extranet.nationalgrid.com/realtime/Home/Demandlast60mins
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