Re: Tilting at windmills
The real problem with all these discussions is that everyone seems to think that to store electricity, you need batteries. If you are going to build nuclear, you could at least use the technology used in solar towers and build a decent sized heat store. That way, at times you are generating too much due to the inability of nuclear to transition power levels quickly, you dump it into the store. Excess wind and solar can also be dumped in when there is a surplus.
The thing about heat stores is that the bigger you make them, the more efficient it becomes. For each 8 fold increase in volume you only have a 4 fold increase in surface area. Make it big enough and you don't even need to pay for insulation. Make it even bigger and you don't even need to use molten salt for the store. The thing is, that for the cost of a couple of nuclear power plants you could probably build a big enough heat store to tide us through the weeks when there is insufficient wind and solar. We already have geothermal power in Cornwall and the government only had to chip in £22M unlike the £30Bn going into nuclear. It only takes some politicians with imagination to see that even in areas where the earths core is not close enough to the surface for geothermal, we can create it at a fraction of the cost by dumping wind & solar power into the ground, then sucking it out again as needed.
The real problem at the moment is having politicians who think that by relabeling nuclear as renewable (which is definitely isn't) they are showing some sort of green credentials which they definitely don't have.