Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It is a fleet of 80-100 reactors - individual ones going offline for maintenance/ect will not correlate in the same way a pressure system above the north sea will, so the storage systems only have to deal with demand side diurnal variations, not supply. There may be an assumption in there that electrifying transport and industry to this extent flattens those variations, as well. If that does not happen, option 4 (20 gigs of pumped) ought to cover it.  
by Thomas on Sat Oct 13th, 2012 at 02:30:08 AM EST
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But of course you stack the deck to the detriment of intermittent sources when you insist on electricity autarky, rather than (balanced) trade. The European subcontinent spans at least three different basins with their own, largely uncorrelated, weather systems. So insisting on autarky for Britain is not a rational way to construct the European grid.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Oct 13th, 2012 at 02:52:00 AM EST
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This is a fair point, and perhaps the interconnection slider ought to have a few more notches. However, the thing I like the most about this calculator is that it puts numbers on just how much electricity a clean economy needs. Because I keep encountering plans to combat carbon emissions that are assume "using less electricity" is a viable plan. Which forgets about all the other parts of the economy that has to be moved to the grid.

My "no hairshirts" plan modestly decreases overall energy consumption, but electricity demand more than doubles.  Even the most aggressive energy conservation plan the calculator allows implies an substantial increase in electricity demand, and those settings would never, ever, be put into practice, because any government that tried would get evicted from office. So if you want a future based on renewables, scale your plans up. Rooftop solar is demonstrably not going to cut it.

by Thomas on Sat Oct 13th, 2012 at 07:46:23 AM EST
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There's a huge assumption in there that there's no such thing as common-mode (aka common-cause) failure for nukes - only for wind.

Of course, we've had Fukushima; and we've had multiple hot summers where many French plants have been closed due to overheating rivers; and we've had systematic pressurizer cracks in PWRs; and we'll face systematic terrorist threats against nuclear plants. Then there's the risks of depending on a generation technology where all your fuel is imported. And so on ...

So we know common-mode failure can and does occur for nukes. The model pretends it doesn't. That's more convenient for the message it's trying to sell.

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Sat Oct 13th, 2012 at 11:32:44 AM EST
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