Wind generation's contribution to supporting peak electricity demand - meteorological insights

D. J. Brayshaw*, C. Dent, Stanley Zachary

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Wind generation's contribution to meeting extreme peaks in electricity demand is a key concern for the integration of wind power. In Great Britain (GB), robustly assessing this contribution directly from power system data (i.e. metered wind-supply and electricity demand) is difficult as extreme peaks occur infrequently (by definition) and measurement records are both short and inhomogeneous.Atmospheric circulation-typing combined with meteorological reanalysis data is proposed as a means to address some of these difficulties, motivated by a case study of the extreme peak demand events in January 2010. A preliminary investigation of the physical and statistical properties of these circulation types suggests that they can be used to identify the conditions that are most likely to be associated with extreme peak demand events.Three broad cases are highlighted as requiring further investigation. The high-over-Britain anticyclone is found to be generally associated with very low winds but relatively moderate temperatures (and therefore moderate peak demands, somewhat in contrast to the classic low-wind cold snap that is sometimes apparent in the literature). In contrast, both longitudinally extended blocking over Scotland/Scandinavia and latitudinally extended troughs over western Europe appear to be more closely linked to the very cold GB temperatures (usually associated with extreme peak demands). In both of these latter situations, wind resource averaged across GB appears to be more moderate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part O: Journal of Risk and Reliability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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