Renewable Energy Foundation

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

REF Welcomes Poyry Study on Wind Intermittency

The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) today welcomed the new Pöyry study on the effects of wind intermittency on European power markets.

The report by the global consultancy Pöyry places special emphasis on the implications for the proposed European super-grid, and for investment in and operation of conventional generation, which must be retained for reasons of security of supply.

The Pöyry study is a commercial product, but is available to the public in summary form as The Challenges of Intermittency in North West European Power Markets (*).

The analysis finds that even a large wind fleet distributed over much of Northern Europe will still exhibit significant variability, and that market prices will consequently be both high and volatile.

These findings coincide with the conclusions drawn in a series of REF reports which have played a key pioneering role in this debate.  These reports include the 2005 Telford Gold Medal winning papers by Hugh Sharman on the Danish wind experience (**), the work published between 2006 and 2008 by James Oswald and his co-authors which modeled the output of a 25 GW wind fleet distributed across the UK (***), and the papers and books of Paul-Frederik Bach on the impact of wind power intermittency on electricity spot prices, which was published in 2009 and 2010.

REF is pleased to note that, although a small charity subsisting on private donations, it has contributed so significantly to this debate, and that Pöyry’s work confirms our major conclusions. Further details of this debate are available in an “Information Note” published today on the REF website:

Dr John Constable, who, as Director of Policy and Research for the foundation was responsible for commissioning the REF studies, said: “Pöyry’s contribution to public understanding of the market risks of wind intermittency vindicates REF’s pioneering work in this field, and is a prudent and salutary warning against over-hasty policy that deserves to be widely read. In an ideal world government would purchase this study and make it freely available.”



** Hugh Sharman, “Why Wind Power works for Denmark”, Civil Engineering,   158, May 2005, 66-72. Hugh Sharman, “Why UK Wind power should not exceed 10GW”, Civil Engineering, 158, Nov 2005, 161-169.

*** Jim Oswald, “25GW of distributed wind on the UK Electricity system”, 7 Dec 2006 Jim Oswald, et al., “Will British Weather Provide Reliable Electricity”, Energy Policy, 36 (August, 2008), 3202-3215.


Last Updated on Sunday, 03 April 2011