Letter: As a chartered engineer who worked in the electricity supply industry for 39 years, I despair to hear politicians like Rebecca Long-Bailey claiming that renewables will provide for most of our energy needs by 2030. Renewable generation – solar, wind and tidal – is, by definition, non-synchronous and it is technically impossible to operate our electricity transmission system solely on non-synchronous generation. There is a real danger of system instability and consequential widespread blackouts once non-synchronous generation exceeds around 30 per cent of total generation at any one time. The National Grid report on the recent major outage makes numerous references to the lack of inertia in the system. This resulted from insufficient large synchronous generators (nuclear, coal, gas) being connected. Given the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the only option is to increase significantly nuclear build rapidly. Both Labour and Conservative governments have been unwilling to commit themselves to this, which has led us into the problems we now face. It is unfortunate that politicians and environmental campaigners are ignorant of the technicalities of energy supply, or wish to ignore them. MPs may have the power to change the laws of the land, but not to change the laws of physics.
Telegraph 4th Oct 2019 read more »