Turbines at a standstill as UK goes seven days without wind

Wind news
Turbines stand at the Colorado Highlands Wind Farm in Fleming, Colorado, U.S. Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

Britain’s gone seven days with almost no wind generation and forecasts show the calm conditions persisting until the middle of the month.

The wind drought has pushed up day-ahead power prices to the highest levels for the time of year for at least a decade.

UK turbines can produce about as much power as 12 nuclear reactors when conditions are right. During the “Beast from the East” storm that hit Britain in March, they generated record levels of power and at times provided the biggest share of the nation’s electricity.

Low wind power isn’t a threat to supplies in June when demand is low, but on a dull, dark day in winter, this could be a different story.

Read more about wind’s role during cold weather this winter

The government has to make sure that there is enough back up generation for times when the wind isn’t blowing. Greg Clark, secretary of state for business energy and industrial strategy announced Monday that the UK will take the next step toward agreeing to help Hitachi Ltd. finance a new nuclear reactor.