Can We Live on Renewables?

Based on the analysis in Without The Hot Air, can we live on renewables in the UK? Answer: only if the green (renewable generation column) can be made at least as tall as the red (consumption) column, even ignoring issues such as intermittency (eg wind does't blow on demand).

Press the buttons to find a way else we won't have enough energy to run the UK and literally the lights may well go out.

Now look at the bottom of the green stack and you'll see the cost per person per day and how many UK's worth of land area you need to generate as you've specified.

Start Here (press one of these to get to a known state):

Consumption/generation per person per day in the UK
Modify Consumption Modify Generation

p107 alternative scenarios
Transporting stuff
Food, farming, fertilizer
Heating, cooling
Jet Flights
Total Consumption
Total Generation


Assuming the following:

costs of the selected plan (eg money, land-area, etc) are:

Source kWh/d/p Cost £/kWh/d Area m2/kWh/d Cost £/p (capex) Area m2/p Comments

As to the 'area' costs computed, note that it may be possible to deploy a given land area for multiple uses, eg solar PV on housing roofspace (and heat-pumps underneath), solar farms under turbines with geothermal extraction from under them. Not all the area 'cost' quotes is inland, eg for off-shore wind.