We want an power storage infrastructure, says Jim Waterton, the Swansea lagoon resolution needs to be reviewed, argues Robert Hinton, whereas Dr Tim Lunel needs photo voltaic subsidies restored

Intermittency – in a single phrase, the principle downside dealing with many (not all) types of renewable power; within the UK, principally wind and photo voltaic, and now tidal (Hinkley Point C received the go-ahead regardless of its value. So why not Swansea Bay? 27 June). So far, electrical energy from these renewable sources has been in modest quantities, and intermittency has been handled (I simplify, however solely barely) by backing-off gas-fired mixed cycle (CCGT) plant which, along with nuclear, kinds the spine of the UK electrical energy producing system. When the wind is just not blowing or the solar is just not shining, CCGT plant is there to take the pressure.

But this straightforward technique fails if wind, photo voltaic, and now tidal presume to take over this spine position. Smart metering (affecting customers’ utilization patterns) and worldwide energy exchanges can assist, however the principle motion has to return from power storage and regeneration plant, involving a brand new infrastructure to complement vastly the present pumped storage functionality. This is sure to have critical value implications, and till that is overtly acknowledged, direct comparability of projected MWh prices from any intermittent renewable supply with corresponding MWh prices from non-intermittent new nuclear era is basically invalid, and prone to be badly deceptive.
Jim Waterton
Glasgow

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