Prof. Jack Ponton has updated the FAQs on our website to include the various new myths and misinformation about renewable energy which are currently being pushed by developers.
Batteries will solve the problem of intermittency
Not the one that really matters. Some wind and solar
developments are installing batteries on site and
claiming that they will solve this problem. However
a typical installation will store a maximum of 20 minutes
or so of a windfarm’s output. Conventional generation
is still needed to cover hours or days of low wind.
For more information see:
Wind is now the cheapest form of generation
No it isn’t. This myth arises from ‘strike prices’
bid by offshore developers which are comparable to
current prices per MWh from gas generation. Bidding
a low price helps to secure the option to build.
But these are notional prices for wind farms not yet built
and do not commit the developer to build or to
deliver anything.
No offshore wind farm in operation has yet cost the
consumer less than four or five times the normal
wholesale price
For more information see:
The wind is always blowing somewhere…
So interconnectors to Europe will keep the lights on
when the wind doesn’t blow here. Unfortunately not.
The wind is not always blowing in north west Europe
as weather patterns are strongly correlated. If there
is a wind lull over the UK this normally extends to
Scandanavia, France etc.
We already rely on 4GW of interconnectors to France,
Belgium and the Netherlands. This is equivalent to
three nuclear power stations and imports more or less
continuously weekday daytime. Projects to increase
interconnector capacity to more than 10GW are in hand
but these will be useless if there is no power available at
the other end.

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