Renewable Energy Foundation

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REF Response to National Grid Consultation 2009

REF is today (28.10.09) publishing a consultation response submittted to National Grid in August this year (2009).

National Grid's consultation is downloadable at:
REF's response, which can be downloaded from the link at the head of the page, was prepared in large part by Mr Paul-Frederik Bach, onetime Planning Director for Eltra, the Danish grid operator.
REF's text urges a greater degree of transparency with regard to costs and difficulties likely to be experienced in operating a system containing a large or even a moderate degree of wind power. We note that:
If very large wind capacities of 30 GWs and upwards are built, as currently envisaged by the UK government, this will confront the electricity sector with unprecedented technical difficulties, solutions to which do not yet exist, and costs which are in many cases uncertain.

We recognise that from National Grid’s perspective these costs can be to some degree passed through to the consumer. However, it would be helpful if National Grid were to make it plain to Government that the magnitude and future uncertainty of these costs is a grave cause for concern, particularly in current economic circumstances, and that government should moderate the pace of development in the non-dispatchable renewable sector such as wind power so that integration solutions can be developed in tandem with deployment, and costs kept within reasonable bounds. A diversified portfolio of renewable technologies, particularly dispatchable solutions, would significantly ease the problems described in the consultation document.
The full text of this response will be included in REF's forthcoming submission to the UK Government's Department of Energy and Climate Change consultation on Delivering Secure Low Carbon Electricity. Details of this consultation can be found at: