Letter Prof Emeritus Andrew Porteous: Professor Ian Fells (letter, Sep 19) posits the use of energy storage to iron out solar, wind and tidal energy fluctuations. Would that this could be done. Batteries provide a few hours of electricity at best and the requisite capacity of lithium ion storage is mind-boggling, even if the lithium was available. High-level pumped storage sites are few and far between and not conveniently serviced by high-voltage power grids or five-metre diameter pipelines. The United Kingdom desperately needs base load capacity. Only nuclear can now do this, with cheap gas-fuelled power stations to plug the gap. The sun does not shine much in January, nor does the wind always oblige at this time of year.
Times 21st Sept 2016 read more »