Letter: National Grid needs a more reliable source of energy

I found Mike Child's letter (Scarborough News, February 11) representing the views of his organisation Friends of the Earth opposing fracking quite interesting.

Renewables are simply not able to support the National Grid when extra power is needed.

They seem quite content to oppose something that is necessary to maintain Britain’s power supply without offering a solution that works.

In my previous letter when I told of my visit to a Frack Free Scarborough meeting at Scarborough Library where the Green Party and Friends of the Earth were seeking support for their anti-fracking campaigns, I pointed out that renewables are simply not able to support the National Grid that needs to get extra power when it is needed and not just when it is available.

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A simple way to explain this is to compare it to driving a car and controlling the National Grid. The National Grid doesn’t produce electricity but only distributes it. This is done by National Grid engineers monitoring the frequency AKA Hertz or cycles per second.

In Britain the target is 50 Hertz, which is slowed down when extra load is required by the consumer. The engineers have to add extra capacity quickly and you can only get this by gas-powered or hydro generators that can be quickly switched on. Otherwise the whole grid will collapse. The collapse figure is 49.2 Hertz.

The car driver is faced with a similar situation when faced with a steep hill. If you keep the throttle in the same position and don’t apply more power the car will stall. At least with a car you usually have plenty of reserve fuel/power in your tank.

Friends of the Earth and the Green Party in my opinion are responsible for the acceleration of the fracking by opposing nuclear power which will bring much needed wealth into Great Britain.

Colin Wigglesworth

Providence Place, Filey