Letter Sinead Lynch Shell: Ed Conway made some excellent points in his article about energy storage technologies (“Unlimited energy is more than a pipe dream”, May 5). The world needs renewables — a lot of them and at an accelerated rate of deployment to what we have today. But the challenge is that batteries, hydro power, and even trains on hills are a long way from covering their intermittency. A few days without sun or wind should eventually be manageable. But winter (months of guaranteed gloom and often little wind in countries such as the UK) is another matter. Other solutions, such as hydrogen, are needed. It is also easy to overlook the fact that renewables only produce electricity. Electricity counts for about 18 per cent of world energy use. Even if all electricity turned zero carbon overnight we would still have 82 per cent of the energy system to decarbonise.
Times 9th May 2017 read more »