We have to face up to the fact that the UK's wind and solar fleets combined produce little electricity for more than half the time and they are a part of a balanced energy mix not a panacea says GMB.
GMB Congress in Plymouth was told that in the year from 1 June 2016 every 1 in 3 days has been a low solar day when solar produced 10% or less of the installed capacity to the National Electricity Grid.
The days of low sunshine were 1 day in June 2016, 1 day in August 2016, 5 days in September 2016, 7 days in October 2016, 18 days in November 2016, 24 days in December 2016, 26 days in January 2017, 21 days in February 2017, 8 days in March 2017 and 3 days in May 2017. (See notes to editors for sources and definitions and the low wind dates since June 2016)
Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said:
“Over the last 12 months there were 144 days when solar was supplying 10% or less of installed capacity to the national electricity grid.
"Climate change is a reality and everyone wants to see a world where we get most of our energy from renewable sources, not fossil fuels but we have to face up to the fact that the UK's wind and solar fleets combined produce no electricity for more than half the time and they are a part of a balanced energy mix not a panacea.
"In the real world of the here and now we have to keep the lights turned on, homes heated and the economy functioning on the days when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine.
"This means having a base load electricity capacity we can rely on until there is a breakthrough in large-scale, economically viable and reliable solar or wind power storage.
"Until there is a scientific breakthrough on carbon capture or solar storage, then nuclear and gas are the only reliable shows in town which those advocating a renewables only energy policy have to accept.
"The renewable energy suppliers cannot just shrug their shoulders on cloudy, windless days, or when it is dark, and pretend that wishful thinking will keep the lights on.
"GMB will publish a regular solar wind watch to assist public debate."
Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at email@example.com
Notes to editors
 Solar data from Sheffield Solar, a Sheffield University data resource on the photovoltaic industry funded and developed alongside nationalgrid: www.solar.sheffield.ac.uk/pvlive/
 List of days when output of the installed capacity of photovoltaic generation in the UK have produced 10% or less of the installed capacity:
1 June 2016 (1 day)
19 August 2016 (1 day)
3, 10, 19, 26,27 September 2016 (5 days)
7, 24, 26,27,28,29,30 October 2016 (7 days)
1,3,4,8,9,10,12,14,15,16,17,19,20,21,22,23,24,27 November 2016 (18 days)
2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13, 15,16,17,18,19,20,21,23,24,25,27,30,31 December 2016 (24 days)
1,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,23,25,26,27,28,29,30,31 January 2017 (26 days)
1,2,3,5,6,8,9,10,11,12,14,15,18,19,20,21,22,23,25,26,27 February 2017 (21 days)
3,10,11,12,18,20,22,29 March 2017 (8 days)
15,17,29 May 2017 (3 days)