Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Correlation of UK and Irish Wind

Shock of the century - Ireland and Britain have similar weather systems !

Once again, there is talk of exporting Irish wind to the UK. It seems that the basic rules of supply and demand are not understood anymore. If you are going to supply a product, then it must be at times when the other party has a demand for that product. Otherwise, you end up paying them to take your product (See here for evidence of that payment structure in place for Irish wind).

As I type, (20:16 on 4th Dec) the latest update from
shows 355MW of wind for All Island. This is about 13% of total Irish wind capacity. shows 580MW, about 5% of total UK wind capacity. So right now, on a cold winter night in December, there is demand in the UK for Irish wind energy. But, we dont have it. In fact, we are importing 707MW from them.

Below shows the wind profiles for All Island wind generation in Ireland and wind generation in UK for last week - from 20th to 26th November. Make up your own mind.  Are there any major opportunities for exporting wind to UK ?

All Island wind generation for Ireland - 20th Nov - 26th Nov 2014

UK wind generation 20th Nov - 26th Nov 2014

Have the Irish authorities actually worked out the correlation of wind between the two Islands for a whole year ? I don't know, but it looks like their UK counterparts have done.


  1. At Tuesday's DCENR workshop, Prof. O'Malley pointed out that there is a correlation between wind and wave as well. If you are saturated with wind you cannot later add wave energy.
    But there is worse. Projects like the MAREX initiative (see are primarily aimed at export to the UK at the expense of destroying the Co. Mayo heritage.

  2. The authorities have to be made to understand that rural stakeholders are not abstract entites to be manipulated by unelected "intermediate actors" and non-governmental organisations. Rural people are enfranchised citizens of this republic, and government energy policies should be oriented towards their betterment. Projects to despoil the Irish countryside by reconstituting the counttryside as the car battery of the United Kingdom serve no role in improving or even maintaining the interests of Irish citizens.

  3. We would like to commend the Irish Energy Blog for the detailed analysis it is providing to the public. We have accordingly provided a direct link to it from the West Cork Wind web site.

  4. Of course you can export wind. It already happens on a regularly basis - just look at Eirgrid flows versus Wind Generation. As a good example, take a look at EWIC flows tonight. The fact that exports don't occur across all 'windy' periods is more to do with the dysfunctional nature of the SEM market, rather than economics.

    Also worth noting that virtual flows occur on both interconnectors. So a zero flow does not mean nothing is happening, instead it suggests that (wind) exports are offsetting "fixed" long term import hedges belonging to the big suppliers.

    Nevertheless, as it stands, it may not be rational or economic to build a dedicated interconnector solely for wind exports. On the other hand, should the UK agree to provide ROC/CfD subsidies comparable to what they already offer their offshore projects, then that would change things. Whether or not the economic upside out weighs perceived social or visual impacts is a separate argument.

    1. The EWIC outward flows to UK occur mostly at night when demand is low. Hence, we get a poor price. Part of the justification for exporting large amounts of wind energy was that "the wind is always blowing somewhere" implying that when the wind is not blowing in UK, it will be blowing here in Ireland. This argument does not stand up to scrutiny. If it was the case, we would receive a good rate for it. So it is debatable whether we would actually receive a good rate in reality for large scale wind energy exports. Especially considering the fact that the cost of energy is a huge political issue in the UK. We could end up paying UK to take it, as sometimes occurs in the Danish system. So Irish consumers would be subsidizing UK consumers.

  5. It did'nt do Greece much good. They were better importing a bit of fuel and be done with it.