Boris Johnson wants to turn your house green. This week, he published the plan for doing it. In fact, the strategy for delivering net zero carbon emissions is, in essence, to convert the whole economy — including your home — to electric power and then to deliver most of that power using offshore windfarms.
The fundamental problem with this approach, however, is what we will do when the wind isn’t blowing, or, just as importantly, when it unexpectedly stops blowing. The failure to address this issue upfront means that net zero is likely to fail, expensively. The stubborn refusal to do so, even now, means that failure may well be a catastrophic one.As Steve Baker recently pointed out, successive governments have chosen to ‘wing it’ over the tricky details of net zero; energy storage is the trickiest detail of them all.