Irish wind output lows of 2014

As 2014 begins to fade into the memory the media will be full of lists of the “highs and lows” from the year.  However, what is notable each year is that our media only seem capable of reporting on wind output highs – no doubt the data is churned out of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) PR department.  This story on Christmas eve 2014 by the Journal.ie is just one such example.  In order to provide a little balance set out below is a table of the lowest wind output recorded, on the island of Ireland, in each of the last twelve months.  The lowest recorded being a period in October when wind output was at a sustained level of zero or below* (all figures were sourced from EirGrid wind generation webpage).

For some context for readers in relation to the output figures, according to IWEA the island of Ireland has 222 wind farms (188 in ROI) with an installed capacity of 2,889MW (1826 in ROI).   Demand on the island of Ireland fluctuates between 2,600MW – 6,100MW but reached a high of 6,878MW in December 2010.

While the figures speak for themselves, it is clear that the wind output lows are a very small percentage return on the installed capacity, ranging from 0 – 3%, and the figures also show that at times wind contributes little to meet even the average daily electricity demand on the island of Ireland.

Month Output Date/Time
January 54MW 08/01/2014 15:00
February 97MW 06/02/2014 16:00
March 2MW 13/03/2014 11:30
April 7MW 18/04/2014 06:45
May 3MW 26/05/2014 09:00
June 7MW 18/06/2014 09:00
July 8MW 15/07/2014 08:45
August 7MW 01/08/2014 10:45
September 2MW 09/09/2014 09:15
October ZERO 11/10/2014 – 12/10/2014*
November 11MW 05/11/2014 11:45
December 24MW 28/12/2014 12:15

*The ZERO October output is the lowest in the last few years with sustained periods on 11th and 12th October 2014 generating no wind output and some even returning negative figures.  Visit EirGrid wind generation page to see for yourself.

So, the next time you read an IWEA inspired “record Irish wind output” story check back to this page and visit EirGrid wind generation page to confirm that despite the spin, the energy produced by wind turbines is unpredictable, intermittent and totally dependent on the backup of conventional fossil fuelled power plants such as those fuelled by gas, oil, coal or peat.

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About cawtdonegal

Concerned About Wind Turbines (CAWT) - Donegal View all posts by cawtdonegal

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