Do wind turbines need backup?

It is common for opponents of wind power to state that wind turbines need substantial 'backup' plant on the grid for periods when there is no wind. This is far from true, as this report shows. Main factors necessitating significant reserve plant capacity are: (1) all forms of generation stop sometimes (e.g. unexpected and sudden outages of nuclear plant), and (2) the demand changes, sometimes suddenly (e.g. at the end of televised national sporting events). The reserve in place already is more than sufficient for UK wind power now and for the next 10 years at least.

See also related article in Wind Power Monthly. Key points:

Further reading (in no particular order):

Back to main ProWA website                                                                                                                            Page last updated 20 January 2015