Green power needs to account for all its costs

FINANCIAL TIMES 🔒 | The Germans have a word for it: dunkelflaute. It means a period in winter when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine. We have always had them, but they were never a big deal: just another windless and chilly spell in a largely gloomy season. At least that was before we started depending on the weather for an increasing chunk of our electricity. Now, with ever more power coming from wind and solar, it matters greatly if these plants can’t function, or can produce only a fraction of what they normally pump out.

In January 2017, Belgium faced the prospect of blackouts when it experienced a whopping nine-day calm and dull spell. Despite having just 9 per cent of its capacity from renewable sources, the country’s network had to scramble to supply sufficient electricity to avoid disruption.

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