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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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