There has been much talk of late of where our future reliable supply of electricity will come from with the progressing demise of the 1970’s 2000MW Coal Fired power stations and the approaching end of life of some nuclear stations.
These were always regarded as base load stations giving a reliable stable system. In addition to cater for peaks there were several gas turbine peak lopping stations.
The use of Gas as a fuel is supplementing and replacing some of this but pressure on the clean environment has seen the rapid growth of the wind turbine and “farms”. Initially these were mainly land based and with greatly varying wind strengths could not be regard as a consistent supply. The emphasis then swung to off shore farms where the wind strength tended to be less variable and although more expensive to install and maintain on a 24-hour basis provided a more consistent supply.
As an example, Phase 1 of the Hornsea project currently being constructed will generate 1.2GW by 2020 using 7MW turbines and with Phase 2 also currently under construction they will be equivalent to one of the old fossil fuel stations. Phases 3 and 4 which are planned may well use 10MW turbines.
An additional contributor to green base load power is wood pellet fuelled power stations some new and other existing stations having been converted to wood pellet.
And last, but by no means least, a fast-growing field and also a major contributor to base load is Energy from Waste and Landfill Waste management systems all these producing clean energy.
So, the future looks good!