16 Apr 2011
Hi Toddington, There is a world of difference between potential and reality and the problem with a renewable like wind is that a consistent supply cannot be guaranteed.
1 The wind does not always blow when you want it to and sometimes not at all, but to be of use to the national grid it is required to be predictable
2 We cannot store AC current so if power is produced when it's not required it just goes to waste
If you go back a couple of hundred years or so ago we only had wind and water power so needed to invent steam engines to power the industrial revolution. Sadly, little has changed.
Many years ago when I was taking my electrical qualifications we were told that 87% of all generated power was dissipated across the national grid, perhaps if we could cut out these losses we would be able to meet some of our carbon targets.
24 Apr 2011
There is no reason for not having 100%. Those that would say otherwise are paid for by conventional utilities owning gas/coal/nuclear facilities.
We will need several interconnectors to europe to make this work though. And we will need as much current energy devices as possible and an intelligent grid.
Our biggest headache is the national national grid dinosaur. It needs to be moved into the real world. At a recent conference I attended on offshore wind the grid were openly sneered at - there is so much resentment towards them. Perhaps they are paid to be thus by established generators polluting the planet.