Subject: Windcrofting
From: "Evan Beaver" <>
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2006 07:11:11 +1000
Indeed it will be hard to maintain supply! What hasn't entered the debate at any stage was the energy storage technology necessary for solar and wind to become viable. Most electrical grids do have quite serious storage systems built into them (see the Snowy River Scheme) so hopefully it shouldn't be too much of a problem. With the UK using nukes for much of their baseload generation, wind (but not solar, the weather there's terrible) turbines and good storage systems (large hydro storage systems have efficiencies approaching 90odd%) should cover the variable part of the demand.

UK generating capacity is ~80GW.  The connected site mentions 15kW
turbines.  If you assume a capacity factor of 0.25, which might be
generous as many areas won't be well suited for wind power, that works
out at 10 million turbines by my calculation.  With 50% generation from
wind, maintaining supply is going to be a challenge when a large parts
of the country are becalmed.


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Evan Beaver
Lapstone, Blue Mountains, NSW
lat=-33.77, lon=150.64
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