When I write or comment upon matters Engineering, I do so from a lifetime’s exposure to Electrical and Mechanical industrial practices. I know what has to happen before you switch on a light, charge a laptop battery, or switch an oven on: and I also know how the generating process both works and is governed. The rules are clear, and the first rule is ‘Safety first’. Nothing else comes close to ensuring that, whatever task is set, you must ensure that the team, whether a four man group working in a Power station switchyard, or literally hundreds working on a site which you control, they all get to go home safely at the day’s end. The second part of ‘Safety First’ is to ensure that whatever you do, or plan, or change; will not impede, or negate, the system which you are either constructing, changing or improving.
When I was far younger, the whole of the Power supply was owned by the British public, and operated on its behalf by Engineers. The National Grid, transformed beyond the original, which was designed to run as a Publicly-owned Utility; now buys power from a variety of sources, and sends that power from coal, combined-cycle gas- and steam-turbines, nuclear; along with the rag-tag army of alleged ‘renewables’ (wind, solar, woodchip, sewage; the usual suspects); into the overhead pylons and cables of the Grid, through local and hub substations to our homes and workplaces. But the beauty of the British system, although poorly tended by virtue of the politics which have been so ruthlessly imposed upon the British public which has been so consistently lied to for many years; e.g. ‘climate change’, is still, JUST, diverse enough to accept the huge demands on the power generation sector without too much reliance on the true ‘stand-by sector’, which is of course five or six very expensive heavy oil-fuelled generating stations; together with hundreds of small diesel gen-sets which can be switched on in a matter of minutes; but at a very large cost!
The linked graphic gives an updated picture of the UK generation capability, with the base-load, comprised of some eighty percent of load shared by coal, CCGT and nuclear, together with 8% of varying capacity from garbage, namely wind, solar and sewage; along with the interconnectors from France and Holland. It is, as the National Grid people admit, sometimes a struggle, but we manage. As I stated, we have had to deal with EU Regulations and ‘fiats’ which have deprived the system of perfectly viable power stations, primarily because they do not ‘gel’ with the EU Commission’s ideas of acceptability (coal; heavy oil, etc.) because of the aforementioned lies regarding ‘global warming’, together with the truly lunatic Climate Change Act in the UK Parliament, which ties us to the ridiculous ideas of ‘renewables’, along with ‘carbon reduction’; and all the garbage which trails alongside that truly ludicrous idea. We have, fortunately, a base load capacity which, although creaking at the seams, manages.
We manage; unlike our cousins in the State of South Australia, who, for purely political reasons, have invested in wind turbine farms to the suicidal rate of over forty-five percent of connected load, with the remainder base load brought in by 275kV Interconnector lines from out of State. Their last coal-fired station was closed some time back, and the dependence of South Australia’s reliance on wind power was rated at 883 MW. The entire debacle, which BLACKED OUT THE ENTIRE STATE, took a total of TWELVE seconds to return South Australia to Victorian times, and the blackout lasted for over a day and a half. Check out the post from JoNova, and, although technically-biased in certain areas, gives the reader a better understanding of what actually happened, and the reason why this graphic is absolutely true!