Wind generation output during cold weather-driven electricity demand peaks in Ireland

Thumbnail Image
Leahy, Paul G.
Foley, Aoife M.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Pergamon Press
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Recent cold winters and prolonged periods of low wind speeds have prompted concerns about the increasing penetration of wind generation in the Irish and other northern European power systems. On the combined Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland system there was in excess of 1.5GW of installed wind power in January 2010. As the penetration of these variable, non-dispatchable generators increases, power systems are becoming more sensitive to weather events on the supply side as well as on the demand side. In the temperate climate of Ireland, sensitivity of supply to weather is mainly due to wind variability while demand sensitivity is driven by space heating or cooling loads. The interplay of these two weather-driven effects is of particular concern if demand spikes driven by low temperatures coincide with periods of low winds. In December 2009 and January 2010 Ireland experienced a prolonged spell of unusually cold conditions. During much of this time, wind generation output was low due to low wind speeds. The impacts of this event are presented as a case study of the effects of weather extremes on power systems with high penetrations of variable renewable generation.
Wind variability , Meteorological extemes , Heating degree-days , System security , Electric vehicles
Leahy, P.G. and Foley, A.M. (2012). 'Wind generation output during cold weather-driven electricity demand peaks in Ireland'. Energy, 39(1), pp.48-53. doi:
Copyright © 2012, Elsevier. NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Energy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Energy, [Volume 39, Issue 1, March 2012]