The Anonymous Widower

Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?

Someone asked me if we will run out of power, if Vlad the Mad cuts all the gas to Western Europe.

This was my reply.

It appears that this year, 3.2 GW of new offshore wind farms could start producing electricity, followed by similar amounts in both 2023 and 2024.

One of those to come on stream about now is the 1.4 GW Hornsea 2 wind farm!

The follow-up 2.9 GW Hornsea 3, signed a contract last week for delivery in 2026/27.

Moray East in Scotland and Triton Knoll off Lincolnshire, are also scheduled to come on stream this year and they’re around 900 MW each.

As someone, who used to write project management software, I hope the companies building these fields have enough resources, in terms of people, boats, cranes and money. But as the companies are all the Shells of the wind industry, I would hope they have got their sums right.

What About The Contracts for Difference Awarded In Allocation Round 4?

We are currently fighting two wars at the moment.

  • The main war in Ukraine, where we are giving that unfortunate country all the help we can.
  • The secondary war in the UK against energy prices.

Would it help our cause in both wars, if we produced more energy?

  • More renewable energy would reduce our dependence on imported gas.
  • The gas saved could go to Europe.
  • Europe would not be buying Vlad the Mad’s bloodstained gas.
  • Replacing gas with solar and wind power might reduce energy prices.

If I put myself in the position of a struggling farmer with a contract for difference to build a solar farm on a poor field, I would want that farm to be earning money as soon as possible.

  • Now that I have the contract can I start assembling that solar farm?
  • Similar arguments can probably be used for onshore wind, which must be easier to assemble, than offshore wind.
  • I don’t think that the hard-pressed energy suppliers would bother, if they received some quality cheap electricity earlier than they expected.
  • Obviously, all the cables and the substations would need to be in place.

So I think that it is reasonable to assume, that energy might ramp up quicker than expected.

It could even be more front-loaded, if all the installers got a shift on.

Every little helps!

New Renewable Energy In 2023?

These wind farms are scheduled for commissioning in 2023.

  • Neart Na Gaoithe – 450 MW
  • Sofia Offshore Wind Farm – 1400 MW
  • Seagreen Phase 1 – 1075 MW

We could see 2925 MW of offshore wind power commissioned in 2023.

New Renewable Energy In 2024?

These renewable energy sources are scheduled for commissioning in 2024.

  • Dogger Bank A – 1200 MW
  • Round 4 Solar – 125.7 MW
  • Dogger Bank B – 1200 MW
  • Dogger Bank C – 1200 MW

Note, where a windfarm is given a commissioning date of 2023/24  in Wikipedia , I will put it in 2024.

We could see  3726 MW of renewable energy commissioned in 2024.

New Renewable Energy In 2025?

These renewable energy sources are scheduled for commissioning in 2025.

  • Moray West – 1200 MW
  • Round 4 Solar – 1958 MW
  • Round 4 Onshore Wind – 888 MW
  • Round 4 Energy from Waste – 30 MW
  • Vanguard Boreas Phase 1 – 1400 GW

We could see  6476 MW of renewable energy commissioned in 2025.

New Renewable Energy In 2026?

These renewable energy sources are scheduled for commissioning in 2026.

  • East Anglia 1 North – 800 MW
  • East Anglia 2 – 900 MW
  • Round 4 Tidal Stream – 5.62 MW

We could see  1705 MW of renewable energy commissioned in 2026.

New Renewable Energy In 2027?

These renewable energy sources are scheduled for commissioning in 2027.

  • Round 4 Tidal Stream – 35.2 MW
  • Round 4 Floating Offshore Wind – 32 MW
  • Round 4 Offshore Wind – 5594 MW
  • Hornsea 3 Offshore Wind – 2852 MW
  • Hinckley Point C Nuclear – 3,260 MW

We could see  13173 MW of renewable energy commissioned in 2027.

Too Much Electricity!

Summarising the figures for new capacity gives.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 3726 MW
  • 2025 – 6476 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 11773 MW

This totals to 28554 MW.

One problem we may have is too much electricity and as we are not blessed with much storage in the UK, where will be able to put it?

In a strange way, Vlad the Mad may solve the problem, by cutting off Europe’s gas.

We have a few interconnectors, where we can export the electricity to allow the Belgians, Dutch, French and the Germans to have a shower.

It looks like construction may be starting soon for another interconnector. NeuConnect will have a capacity of 1.4 GW between the Isle of Grain and Wilhelmshaven.


If I was the German Chancellor, I’d do everything in my power to accelerate the construction of NeuConnect!

July 10, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. The Guardian has just published an article on this

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 10, 2022 | Reply

  2. Thanks!

    Comment by AnonW | July 10, 2022 | Reply

  3. Not sure we have another 3.2GW coming as I believe Moray East & Triton Knoll are already full commissioned. Anyhow the facts is as i write this our 25GW of metered wind by NG is producing a paltry 0.75GW. So to cover that gas is running to fill the deficit and even these days we rarely import from Europe although Norway is running full tilt on import. Also coal is on the system again and with this weather we will have even more commercial office load on the system over the next week so coal and gas will be needed but at least during the day we get good solar contribution.

    However much renewable we build at a massive cost to consumers we are going to have to retain CCGTs for the foreseeable future as we are way way off getting anywhere close to enough storage to support windless weather systems which are a credible scenario that has to be managed.

    By the way Viking Link is at least two years off EIS.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | July 10, 2022 | Reply

    • Moray East and Triton Knoll are supposed to be commissioned this year. I couldn’t find out if they had been.

      Thanks for the info!

      A fair amount of GW-sized energy storage is also needed.

      Comment by AnonW | July 10, 2022 | Reply

      • Moray East is on full output Work has started on Moray W too.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 10, 2022

      • Triton Knoll was commissiioned in Jan

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 10, 2022

      • In the last 24hrs we would have needed 250GWh just to cover gas that’s been on the system. This is just not practical anytime soon and i would suggest ever. The plain fact is CCGTs will be needed to fill the gap on windless and at night for decades but the more they are marginalised by increasing renewables the higher the risk owners will withdraw from the market. Then when that threat happens govt will get out the cheque book to keep them open at our expense. The era of cheap energy is long gone and the state can’t afford to subsidise it. What has been clear all along is reducing consumption through efficiency is the only route out of this.

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | July 10, 2022

    • Dieter Helm is pretty scathing in (a transcript of his keynote speech at Policy Exchange)

      Wholesale prices set a new record on Friday of £363/MWh for the year ahead market – that’s 10x the CfD strike price for offshore wind. One of the serious mismatches in the system atm. And what are the politicians doing? Competing to see who can offer the largest tax cuts!

      Comment by Peter Robins | July 10, 2022 | Reply

      • There is a risk now that any wind farm operator who hasn’t activated there CfD once fully commissioned may assess the risk that prices will fall below the strike price is low and elect to trade without that protection. Of course what that will mean is the upside that CfDs are promoted as offering will disappear and consumers will be on the hook here.

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | July 10, 2022

      • this has already happened on Moray East

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 11, 2022

      • Zenergi’s daily prices quotes year-ahead at £444/MWh and over £600 for front qtr.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 28, 2022

    • I’m replying to this comment, as it’s the only one with a reply button.

      I agree we need to cut consumption and have better insulation. But this country is addicted to large inefficient houses, that should be demolished.

      I do believe though that we can cover a surprising amount of storage and there is an idea out there that can crack it.

      Comment by AnonW | July 10, 2022 | Reply

  4. Systems like these should be designed so that they settle into a state of equilibrium. That was what was so good about Zopa the peer-to-peer lender and it rode through through the storms very well. But it was too successful, so it had to change for the worse.

    Comment by AnonW | July 10, 2022 | Reply

  5. […] Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?, I also summarised the energy that will be produced by the various projects, that were signed off […]

    Pingback by Will Our Gas Supplies Hold Up This Winter? « The Anonymous Widower | July 14, 2022 | Reply

  6. NGESO have just published the latest version of their Future Energy Scenarios, which is well worth a read

    The summary document “FES in 5” includes:
    * Overall end consumer demand reduces by over 40% by 2035 in their most aggressive scenario
    * Annual transmission constraint costs have increased from £170m in 2010 to £1.3bn in 2022 and are expected to continue rising
    * Wind and solar generation currently make up 43% of GB energy supply and this rises to at least 66% across the scenarios by 2030
    * At least 15 TWh of electricity is curtailed in the Net Zero scenarios by 2030
    * GB becomes a net exporter of electricity by 2030 in all scenarios

    None of this answers the original question about this winter, but at any rate NGESO are thinking seriously about what needs to be done. Now if we just had some politicians who took time to address the matter and allocate funds …

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 18, 2022 | Reply

    • and, talking of politicians, the gov has just published its Review of Electricity Market Arrangements A mere 130pp. A quick review shows they’re at least asking the right questions.

      The timescale here is
      • Setting out a clear statement of the case for reform (this consultation)
      • Developing and determining what reforms are needed through extensive engagement with energy sector (2022-23)
      • Establishing a full delivery plan and overseeing implementation (from the mid-2020s)

      Comment by Peter Robins | July 18, 2022 | Reply

  7. NGESO have just published an ‘early view’ of their winter outlook Interesting that they’re thinking of introducing demand side response.

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 28, 2022 | Reply

  8. […] Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?, I estimated that these Round 4 projects would come onstream as […]

    Pingback by UK CfD Round 4 Offshore Wind Projects Power Forward « The Anonymous Widower | August 4, 2022 | Reply

  9. NGESO have also just published an outline of the plan for keeping coal plants open this winter – how to spend a large amount of money on something which you hope won’t be needed. Shows what a sorry state the electric market is in atm, with year-ahead wholesale prices of £550/MWh.

    Comment by Peter Robins | August 22, 2022 | Reply

  10. […] Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?, I summarised the likely yearly additions to our offshore wind power capacity in the next few […]

    Pingback by Have We Missed The Boat On Fracking? « The Anonymous Widower | September 22, 2022 | Reply

  11. […] to my calculations in Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?, planned offshore wind that will be installed between 2022 and 2027 will be at least 19 […]

    Pingback by Thoughts On The Mini-Budget « The Anonymous Widower | September 23, 2022 | Reply

  12. […] Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?, which I wrote in July this year, I did a calculation of how much renewable energy would come on […]

    Pingback by An Update To Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter? « The Anonymous Widower | September 29, 2022 | Reply

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