• Imperial College research suggests 100% wind, water and solar power sector may be unfeasible

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Research by the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College, London, has raised doubtsabout the possibility of running a grid entirely on wind, water and solar power. Many models about future energy generation assume the reliability of such a make-up, but the research by Imperial found that when taking into consideration power transmission, energy storage, and system operability requirements, reliability suffered to the extent that “the power supply would fail often enough that the system would be deemed inoperable.” Even at 77% wind, water and solar energy, the team found that 9% of annual UK power demand would be unmet, meaning significant power outages and disruptions. The research will provide substantial food for thought for meeting climate targets, as Dr Niall Mac Dowell, one of the authors, pointed out. Dr MacDowell said “The focus should be on maximising the rate of decarbonisation, rather than the deployment of a particular technology, or focusing exclusively on renewable power. Nuclear, sustainable bioenergy, low-carbon hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage are vital elements of a portfolio of technologies that can deliver this low carbon future in an economically viable and reliable manner.”