I have to agree with Tony Reddin’s advice to Summerside city council to adopt battery storage to even out the variations in generation from the wind power site. It is pleasing to see prices coming down. It appears likely that a combination of wind, solar, and battery storage has a future for small communities like Summerside. When supply is low, back-up power comes from New Brunswick at this time, much of it from the Point Lepreau nuclear plant.
I would caution that we don’t put too much faith in that system for larger jurisdictions. The city of Georgetown in Texas boasts 100 per cent of its power coming from renewables. It obtains power from many sources of wind and solar by means of a high capacity smart grid all over Texas. It does on occasion use power from gas generation when renewable sources are insufficient.
Many have asked, “100 per cent of what?” Certainly, Georgetown uses 100 per cent of available renewable generation to power the whole city of 50,000. However, there is no electric public transit, no heavy industry, many houses cook with natural gas, and home heating is not an issue in Texas.
If we are to electrify most road transport, then renewables and batteries just don’t cut it. The only viable solutions to a low-carbon economy are hydro and nuclear. It’s about time this was discussed with open minds looking at facts not myths.