How far down this track to we want to go?
Reports on recent studies to uncover the roots of the August blackout in Britain are summarised for interested citizens. Not an easy read and the conclusion is disturbing.
Consumers have to do better!
Taken together these studies of the 9th August blackout report systemic fragility problems in the UK electricity supply industry… but the E3C also observes that the consumer sector itself is poorly prepared (p.18ff). As a matter of fact, they are encouraging consumers of all kinds to develop “strong business continuity plans” covering “a range of credible power disruption scenarios”.
They find that consumer side weakness is the outcome of a long period of robust electricity supply, so consumers never had to test, adapt or even go to the difficulty and expense of developing measures that ensure their lives and businesses are robust in the context of a fragile electricity system. They could rely on the system. That is not the case today.
Suck it up, princesses!
And reach for your wallet.
The costs of a largely decentralised generation portfolio, much of it composed of low inertia generators such as wind and solar, are not limited to the technical athletics of the System Operator, but also involve the need for a forewarned and forearmed consumption market. Thanks to energy and climate policies, British consumers from households to hospitals must now ensure that they are able to handle not only the more extreme grid management measures required by a “smart”, “clean” system but also the consequences emerging when those measures prove inadequate. Taking up the slack, which is what “strong business continuity plans” ultimately means, will not be cost free.
WINDWATCH. Approaching noon today the wind in SE Australia was providing a tad over 4% of electricity demand, at 1pm it was up to 4.5. That represents 15 to 20% of plated capacity.