What happened?! I was busy despairing that the UK would never get its act together in the field of renewable energy, and all of a sudden I hear announcements of installing 32 GW of generating capacity! Yes. I said 32 GW, or 50% of UK peak electricity demand. Now admittedly this will only generate 10 GW on average (16% of UK peak demand) but there will be times during which the offshore farms are generating close to peak, and in these cases the network could supply over half UK demand.
Please don’t worry: my despair and skepticism have not gone completely – I have kept them in storage for when all these plans and possibilities evaporate. But the grandeur of this engineering vision is exactly on the scale required to meet the challenges we face. I look forward to the day when our ‘smart’ electricity meters alert us to the fact that wind-generated electricity is cheap for the next 6 hours and this would be a good (and cheap) time for us to use our tumble driers. I really hope this all comes to pass.