A leading academic has argued that policies should focus on introducing charges for intermittency within the renewable sector.
In an article for the Scotsman, Professor Tony Trewavas of the Scientific Alliance states that current climate policies are too focused on cutting emissions and do not acknowledge the importance of stability of supply within Britain’s energy mix.
Trewavas states: “Renewables are popular but parasitic on a stable electricity supply. Charges for intermittency need to be introduced to show that renewables on their own currently fail on the requirement of low cost.”
While fossil fuels are punished through the high carbon price floor tax, his argument calls for an equivalent charge on renewables to account for not fulfilling sufficient levels of demand at an overpriced cost.
The academic’s article supports research from November which highlighted the threat that an over-reliance on renewable energy presents to Britain’s energy security.
According to a study by Bloomberg News Energy Finance (BNEF) the energy system in the UK will become increasingly susceptible to British weather as a result of the rise of wind and solar power.
Albert Cheung, head of analysis at BNEF and lead author of the report, said: “If that capacity is not available, there will be blackouts or brownouts,” he added: “Policymakers need to be planning for this today or they will face problems managing it in future.”