Offshore wind turbines run at capacity in storm but energy prices hardly budge

Offshore wind turbines run at capacity in storm but energy prices hardly budge
© Belga

As storm Corrie’s gale-force winds wreaked havoc along the coast Monday, wind turbines spun at capacity. But as an added blow to the region, the energy benefits were short-lived.

Offshore wind turbines reported running at near 100% capacity Monday. However, energy prices will likely remain at or near all-time highs, with average electricity costs remaining above 200 euros/MWh for Monday and Tuesday, Belga News Agency reports.

The reason is simple – Belgium and the Netherlands bore the brunt of Corrie’s winds that were far less strong on the rest of the continent. Other countries with significant wind farms, such as France and Germany, benefitted less from strong winds. In Europe on Monday, the United Kingdom generated the most electricity from wind, with turbines cranking out 304 Gigawatt hours (GWh), according to industry group WindEurope.

Wind turbine generation by country on January 31, 2022, as reported by industry group WindEurope. WindEurope graphic.

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands combined generated 183.5 GWh of power during Monday’s storm. By comparison, Spain’s wind turbines – essentially untouched by the winds – generated 293.8 GWh of power.

Meanwhile, France is managing shutdowns of some of its nuclear power plants, causing the nation to import energy. With France competing with other European countries for power, the energy producers are charging a premium during a time of year when demand is already typically high.

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