Thursday, 2 April 2015

Are we a cargo cult?

Yesterday, our local electricity distributor in South West England, Western Power Distribution announced that the grid was now full, and no more large solar PV arrays could be accommodated. it wasn't an April Fool either, I asked their spokesman Nigel Turvey personally.

The warning signs have been there for some time - we do not have a system in UK designed to take large amounts of solar electricity, and the conventional wisdom is unless there is substantial infrastructural investment, it will be business as usual, with solar peaking at about 15% of overall supply if we are lucky.

Can we do anything about it? Yes! We can manage our demand to avoid peaks and fill in troughs. This is the low cost solution which we can all start to implement right now.

Without necessarily reducing our consumption, we can substantially alter the percentage of our electricity that can come from low carbon sources such as solar PV.

I am doing it, are you?

And are you telling your friends?

Otherwise, we risk being like a cargo cult, waiting for electricity to be delivered from on high, with no knowledge of how or why, or what the effects of the system that supplies it are.

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