Solar energy 'could provide 4% of UK electricity by 2020'
"The plummeting cost of solar panels has caused the government to revise upwards its forecast for solar energy use, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said. This had contributed to the government decision to end most subsidies for large-scale solar this month, he added."
Well, I suppose we should be grateful for that last comment. What amused and saddened me at the same time was the TV news item that piggybacked on that main story: a piece about 'the biggest battery in Europe', at Leighton Buzzard, a demonstration of the technology being developed to enable excess electricity to be stored when the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow.
See http://tinyurl.com/mfrdgoy for a BBC report on that battery, from the end of last year. It has a capacity of 6MW and can supply 10MWh of electricity. I checked the stats for Dinorwig: 1800MW providing 10800MWh of electricity http://tinyurl.com/6a3gqjs . So Dinorwig is equivalent to about 1000 of these Leighton Buzzard batteries, and Dinorwig only holds a small amount of what we would need for storage to become a practicality for ironing out the peaks and troughs of renewables. And how long will the battery last before it has to be replaced, bearing in mind the lifetime of most rechargeable batteries these days?
Makes you want to weep!