Batteries included in energy storage ideas | Letters

Whatever the WWF says, peak demand for gas-fired generation will be larger, says Steve Bolter, while Chris Underwood pours cold water on the IMechE’s hydrogen proposalThe WWF has been oversimplistic in its argument that no further gas-fired power stations are needed (Report, 14 May). The forecast increase in annual renewable electricity production is only just sufficient to balance the closure of coal-fired electricity generation and the fall in nuclear generation resulting from the retirement of many of our nuclear power stations (most of which are already working beyond their design lives). However, this does not mean more no more gas generation capacity is needed. Electricity demand varies, and renewables are intermittent. There has to be enough capacity to meet demand at all times.While pump storage systems and batteries are able to store enough energy to cope with short-term variations in demand and the availability of renewable generation, it would not be environmentally friendly, efficient or cost-effective to use such systems to store energy from summer to winter, or even to store enough to survive a long midwinter period of high pressure over the North Sea. Continue reading...

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