Renewable is beautiful, but it’s not ready

I love wind turbines, but sober, comprehensive technical studies on feasability etc. should apply to all large projects. A BBC article today reflects this.

It states 1800MW total but this is almost certainly ‘nameplate’ – even assuming an optimistic 35% capacity factor, that would have been 630 MW for US$8.8bn, connected to infrastructure which still would have to be built for a 1800MW capacity, all of which would have only lasted 20 years in offshore conditions.

Hinkley Point C at ~90% capacity factor, will be supplying about 2900 MW for 60 years once it’s running, costing US$26bn (est.) My arithmetic says that’s a good deal. That dependable power will also hopefully help the R&D necessary to bring the cost down and the reliability up for off-shore wind farms, an low emmission technology that we will still certainly need in the future.

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