Producing lots of electricity plan G

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Some people say "we don't want nuclear power, and we don't want coal!" It sounds a desirable goal, but we need a plan to deliver it. I call this "plan G," because I guess the Green Party don't want nuclear or coal, though I think not all Greens would like the rest of the plan. Greenpeace, I know, love wind, so plan G is dedicated to them too, because it has lots of wind.

I make plan G by starting again from plan D, nudging up the wave contribution by 1 kWh/d/p (by pumping money into wave research and increasing the efficiency of the Pelamis converter) and bumping up wind power fourfold (relative to plan D) to 32 kWh/d/p, so that wind delivers 64% of all the electricity. This is a 120-fold increase of British wind power over today's levels. Under this plan, world wind power in 2008 is multiplied by 4, with all of the increase being placed on or around the British Isles.

The immense dependence of plan G on renewables, especially wind, creates difficulties for our main method of balancing supply and demand, namely adjusting the charging rate of millions of rechargeable batteries for transport. So in plan G we have to include substantial additional pumped-storage facilities, capable of balancing out the fluctuations in wind on a timescale of days. Pumped-storage facilities equal to 400 Dinorwigs can completely replace wind for a national lull lasting 2 days. Roughly 100 of Britain's major lakes and lochs would be required for the associated pumped-storage systems.

Plan G's electricity breaks down as follows. Wind: 32 kWh/d/p (80 GW average) (plus about 4000 GWh of associated pumped-storage facilities). Solar photovoltaics: 3 kWh/d/p. Hydroelectricity and waste incineration:

Solar in deserts: 7

Solar HW: 1

Solar HW: 1

ZBiofuels: 2 PV: 3

ZBiofuels: 2 PV: 3

Figure 27.7. Plan G

1.3kWh/d/p. Wave: 3kWh/d/p. Tide: 3.7kWh/d/p. Solar power in deserts: 7kWh/d/p (17GW).

This plan gets 14% of its electricity from other countries.

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