Renewables Are Commercially Justified to Save Fuel and Not for Storage

  • Donald T. Swift-Hook
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


Being capital intensive, renewables are not commercially appropriate for peak power plant. As they become cheaper than any other plants in many countries, subsidies are being eliminated, and then there is no commercial incentive to install renewables to reduce emissions or to save our planet. Their commercial justification is to save fuel.

Those countries with the biggest fuel production industries will have the biggest commercial incentive to save fuel. This is confirmed by noting that China, the USA and India, who between them produce two-thirds of the world’s coal, generate more than half of the world’s wind power.

Commercial storage of energy on a power system works by arbitrage, buying cheap electricity [typically in the middle of the night] and selling it when electricity is dear [during the daytime or evening]. If fuel saving renewables are stored, the round trip losses from putting their electricity into store and taking it out again waste some of the fuel already saved. There is no difference in fuel costs around the clock, so storing electricity from renewable fuel savers cannot be arbitraged or commercially justified.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kingston UniversityKingston upon ThamesUK
  2. 2.WRENBrightonUK
  3. 3.Bourne PlaceWokingUK

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