Once again Rosemary Brian contributes to the debate on wind turbines (Wind needs no back-up) and presents a cogent argument which concludes “… no additional back-up is needed, it is already there…” However, I cannot help but feel she is looking through the wrong end of the telescope.
The discussion about the need for back-up (or base-load) to support wind generation was spawned by the green lobby. They claimed that every 1 kilowatt of electricity generated by wind turbines would directly result in the saving of 1 kilowatt of electricity generated by fossil fuels. Thus went the argument that quid pro quo savings in carbon emissions would result.
This was deliberately misleading and those who understood the detail of power generation and distribution entered the debate to expose the green argument and present a factual analysis of the situation. That “… no additional back-up is needed…” holds well only as long as the present generating capacity can support the future demands on the system.
The decision to build new nuclear and fossil fuel power stations came as the realisation dawned that we would face serious shortages in the next few years if we simply shut down obsolete plants without creating new capacity to match their loss. Alas wind power alone would not achieve this: thus the need to build new back-up generation.
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