Power Station in the East Midlands, UK [Image: Ben Sutherland, Flickr]
Intermittent renewable technologies such as wind and solar are economically disadvantaged due to high capital costs, but fuel costs are nil. In addition, the cost of capital continues to fall, particularly for solar power, and UK onshore wind power is the cheapest. The costs associated with storage are also reduced.
Mr. Petersen also fails to mention biogas, produced by anaerobic digestion in sewage treatment plants and the processing of food waste, something that could potentially help replace natural gas as a means of generating electricity for backup power.
consequently Briefing paper by Mark Diesendorf, published in 2015 for the Energy Science Coalition, the state of South Australia managed to generate 39 per cent of its annual electricity use from renewable energy in 2014, with 33 per cent coming from wind and 6 per cent from solar energy. This allowed the state to shut down its coal-fired power plants because they were redundant. In addition, there have been several occasions when South Australia has been able to do so work reliably on a combination of renewable energy and gas with only minor imports from Victoria.