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Energy: Fossil Fuels

House of Lords written question – answered on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Donoughue Lord Donoughue Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of fossil fuel generating capacity that will be needed as back-up for wind power by 2030.

Photo of Lord Marland Lord Marland The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

The department has not provided estimates of the amount of fossil fuel generating capacity needed as back-up for wind by 2030. This would depend on a wide range of factors including demand profiles and the capacity mix.

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 on the impact of intermittent renewables on the UK electricity system. 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/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/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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