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Wind Power

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the cost of constructing fossil fuel power stations to compensate for the intermittency of wind power generation in the period up to 2030.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The Department has not provided estimates of the cost of constructing fossil fuel power stations to compensate for intermittency in the period out to 2030. These costs would depend on a wide range of factors including the total volume and mix of fossil fuel capacity required as well as infrastructure construction and supply chain costs.

Fossil fuel power stations are not the only way to provide back up for intermittent wind generation. There are a number of alternative solutions including responsive demand, interconnection and storage such as pumped storage, batteries and hydrogen, all of which are expected to play a role in the future energy mix.

The Department has however published a number of studies which give estimates of the total cost of fossil fuel capacity under a range of renewables scenarios. These studies, the Redpoint Analysis (2009) and UK Renewable Energy Strategy: Impact Assessment for the Centralised Electricity Sector, are available at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/whatwe_do/uksupply/energymix/renewable/res/res.aspx

In this wider context, the Government are currently consulting on future Electricity Market Reform. This consultation is available at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/emr/emr.aspx

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