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All UK electricity supplied by wind and photovoltaics – The 30–30 rule

Fragaki, Aikaterini, Markvart, Tom, Laskos, Georgios
Energy 2019 v.169 pp. 228-237
electric power, electricity, energy balance, models, solar energy, storage time, wind power, wind turbines, Great Britain
Based on weather and electricity demand data for the period 1984–2013, we develop a system model based on energy balance to determine the size of photovoltaic and wind generation combined with energy storage to provide a firm power supply for Great Britain. A simple graphical methodology is proposed where the required wind and PV generation capacities can be read off from a “system configuration diagram” as a function of the available storage size. We show, by way of illustration, that a reliable supply would be produced by a system based on PV and wind generators generating some 30% more electrical energy (approximately 100 TWh p.a.) than the current electricity supply system if supplemented with 30 days of storage. In terms of generation capacities, the current 82 GW of principally thermal generation would then be replaced by about 150 GW of wind turbines and 35 GW of PV arrays.