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Time to invest in storage technology.

Terri Jackson has a point in blaming politicians for future power cuts but it's not the full story (Letters, PE31 March). MPs and Lords are a famously innumerate bunch and, unless the details are hammered home, they will walk away from a briefing with a very firm grip on the wrong end of the stick.

E.On's simple statement to the House of Lords specifying 900MW of back-up for every 1,000MW of wind energy is a case in point. The MPs' interpretation will be, "My God! We have to build a new power station alongside every windfarm."

A visit to the E.On website gives the following quotes by their chief executive, Wulf Bernotat, which give a different slant on what can be understood by back-up:

* "It will be necessary to store energy on a large scale if renewables are to make their full contribution to power supply"

* "Energy storage is key to the further development of renewables"

* "By 2010 E.On will have invested at least 6 billion [euro] in this area".

We already have 100% back-up. Switch off every wind turbine and existing stations will meet demand. Build a windfarm and sit back, knowing that Drax will cover it. The real problem, for which MPs are principally to blame, is that many existing stations are nearing the end of their design lifespan.

Don't bother building significant numbers of new stations. Plough the money saved into funding for the development of innovative energy storage systems.

Lawrie O'Connor, Ossett, West Yorkshire

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Title Annotation:ENERGY
Author:O'Connor, Lawrie
Publication:Professional Engineering Magazine
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Apr 21, 2010
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