Answers: More storage - we are already paying for it!
The answer to the question of a balanced power supply situation is more storage capacity for the electricity we are already capable of generating, but throwing away. Right from the get go, politicians and all the power generating companies in UK had their eyes on the prize ... wind farms! It was an obvious winner for all the right commercial reasons. The windmills themselves were impressive once constructed and people could see them going round and round ... a perfect route out of the marketing and environmental quagmire the 'great and good' at the top of Britain's power companies found themselves in.
They were all so taken up with the idea of 'big things going round and round' they forgot to take on board two simple situations; what happens when the wind is not blowing and what do you do with the volumes of electricity you generate that the grid tells you there is no need for? The answer of course is simple: Storage! We need electricity storage when the turbines are not rotating for lack of wind. We need storage when turbines are generating excess electricity so it can be used at a later date. Currently it is estimated that wind turbines are not generating power for about 25% of the time.
It is estimated the UK has around 8,600 onshore and 2,300 offshore turbines in service generating 75,000 Gigawatt Hours and contribute approx 25% to Britain's overall generation capacity. So, on that basis, the amount NOT being generated through lack of wind could be as high as 25,000 Gigawatt Hours. That's an awful lot of lost electricity. So when the genius marketing men urged on by politicians decided to go 'green' with turbines, was there anyone in the room talking about electricity storage?
As in most scenarios where vast amounts of money are involved and ill-educated politicians sitting on supposed 'advisory' committees push to get a deal done before another election, the future of our essential utilities has been thrown to the dogs. And now it's the poor old taxpayer who is left with little choice but to pick up the bill. So, our word to those in charge of the health of this nations utilities is to get some high volume battery storage projects moving NOW or else all those proud but possibly foolish electric vehicle owners will find their day getting off to a 'flat' start very, very shortly!
As it stands currently, everyone in the UK who pays a gas and electricity bill also pays to the billing company a series of levy's that make up what is referred to as the Climate Change Levy. This is a total on a mixed fuel bill averaging about £150+ per year. So, you see, we are already paying for the technology, there is no need for the power companies to go on a fund raising mission ... they already have the money ... and they are getting it from us! So perhaps they could take a break from spending cash on more turbines for a while and concentrate on building some mass storage facilities to keep this country SAFE! There is about 4.0 Billion pounds sterling sloshing around the system somewhere of 'our' money. That's quite a few batteries by our calculations.