In Germany it was called Sabine, in the UK Ciara: it was the storm that recently caused chaos in some European countries. Even though stronger winds have already been measured in both countries, this storm has set records in Germany and Great Britain – in terms of electricity generation.
In Britain, wind power provided 56 per cent of the country’s electricity in the early hours of Saturday 8 February, beating a previous record of 52.4 per cent set in September 2019. During the course of last Saturday, wind supplied 44.25 per cent of Britain’s electricity. According to Agora’s calculations, in Germany, wind power covered about 60 per cent of power consumption. Transmission system operator Tennet reported that on Sunday evening around 43.7 gigawatts of wind power was fed into the grid at times in Germany (previous record 43.4) – with demand of just under 60 GW at that time.
“Sabine threw up a great challenge for the grid operators, as the power feed-in from wind turbines was volatile and turbines had been switched off in case gusts were too strong,” said a spokesman for the operator Amprion.
From Sunday 9 February to Monday 10 February, “Sabine” also blew the prices in day-ahead trading in Germany into the abyss. Negative prices were recorded for several hours and, as a result, onshore wind farms were shut down and run-of-river power plants on the left bank of the Rhine were regulated.
During these recent windy days, they delivered almost 40 GW at peak times, while offshore plants accounted for just over 6 GW. The UK has 13.57 GW of installed onshore wind capacity and an 8.4 GW offshore fleet. According to rechargenews.com onshore installations are declining sharply due to adverse government policies, while offshore wind energy is booming.