Britain’s power grid has repeatedly fallen below its targeted frequency level this year, raising fears that it is struggling to cope with intermittent energy supplies.
It comes amid rising international energy costs and a recent drop in wind power due to particularly still weather. Earlier this week the UK was forced to bring a coal-fired power plant back online to boost the grid.
The grid’s level of frequency dipped to between 49.79Hz and 49.67Hz on 11 occasions between February and June, according to data analysed by The Sunday Telegraph from the Gridwatch database which measures frequency at five-minute intervals.
It’s not, particularly, that the grid will go kablooie if this happens too much or too often. They’ll manage to stop that happening.
Rather, it’s that a lot of the industrial machinery attached in the factories doesn’t want to have to deal with this. There have been reports out of Germany of manufacturers looking around for someone to sue for compensation as a result of lines switching themselves off as a result of such variations. Part completed runs meaning heating/cooling and the ruination of the run, possibly even of the equipment.
The answer to which is the factory setting up its own generators to ensure consistency. But those are likely to be diesel of gas, meaning that the supposed emissions savings actually reverse.
Grid instability just isn’t s good thing.