Blackout in Britain

We recently had a massive power outage in Britain, causing mayhem as trains were unable to move, airports had no power, and general pandemonium ensued.

UK grid frequency chart

The line at the bottom is a chart of UK grid frequency - you can see it plummet during the recent power outage (normally it’s around 50Hz and has to be kept there - if it falls below 49Hz, equipment starts disconnecting automatically as a protective measure). In total, 1.4 gigawatts (!) of generation went offline.

The coloured bars represent the energy mix. At the point of the blackout, looks like a huge drop in wind as a wind farm went offline, and a smaller drop in CCGT (combined-cycle gas turbine) as a gas plant, Little Barford, went offline simultaneously - and an increase in pumped hydroelectric storage as the grid tries to compensate.

(Power grids are magic.)


Currently CTO at Mast. Formerly engineering at Thought Machine, Pivotal. Makers Academy alumnus.

I've pledged to give 10% of my income to highly effective charities working to improve animal welfare. If my startup is successful, I hope to give away much more.

Also founded EA Work Club, a job board for effective altruists, and Let's Fund, a crowdfunding site for high-risk, high-reward social impact projects.

Subscribe via RSS or get email updates.