Teach an Old Dog a New Mix
Brit researcher says clean energy has more juice than previously thought
It’s a familiar argument: Renewable-energy technologies are not “mature,” and the power they provide is intermittent, so nuclear power is our only reliable, large-scale alternative to greenhouse-gas spewing oil and coal. But Graham Sinden of Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute begs to differ. With the right mix of technologies, properly distributed, Sinden says, renewables can “be made to match real-time electricity demand patterns” and represent “a serious alternative to conventional power sources.” His research focused on a mix of wind, solar, and dCHP — domestic combined heat and power, involving high-tech boilers that generate electricity as they heat water — and concluded that the right mix could generate over half the electricity the U.K. needs.