Hold the front page – there’s no catastrophe

Distinguished engineer Mark Whitby has written a great piece for Infrastructure Intelligence entitled ‘A perfect day – the nightmare scenario: but UK’s generation mix is working fine’. He looks at Monday 19th January which was cold and, crucially, windless. This is the kind of day with enhanced demand for heating that, doom-mongers say, will lead to a crisis of under-capacity in our power systems because of an over-reliance on wind energy. But, says Whitby, we were fine. Gas, as planned, stepped into fill the gap, with some imported energy as a top-up.

In future, Whitby says, we will need to continue relying on gas in this role until new nuclear stations come on line. He has obviously studied the figures carefully and his conclusions are well-considered. Some might, on the basis of the same figures, disagree with him. But how nice to see such a reasoned piece of analysis. That it is reassuring as well is a bonus.

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