|Example of brakes on a wind turbine|
As I write on a very windy night in Ireland, we are curtailing 220MW of wind to keep non-synchronous generation under 50% of total demand (at times it reaches 51%).
But the remarkable thing is that we are still importing 150MW from England. Imported electricity is a form of non-synchronous generation, just as with wind. So in effect, it is competing with wind to get in on the grid in the restricted non-sync slot. So surely we should be allowing that additional 150MW wind in and exporting the surplus to the UK. But instead we are importing coal and nuclear power, when we could use up all our wind, and paying wind farms to shut down.
So we need to get the message. UK does not want our wind energy during the day and at peak times. They are generating enough of their own - 5.5GW at the moment and have no intention of ramping down their CCGT gas plants any further to allow Irish wind in. If they ramp them down any further, they will most likely use up more fuel and create more emissions than if they were running at full load (it results in inefficiencies like driving your car in first gear).
We cannot sell our excess wind to England whenever we want, only when they want, which is during the night when demand is low and they can pay us a low price.
The trouble is that Eirgrid and the authorities now know this so why are there still plans for exporting wind energy after 2020 ?