Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley: My Lords, could my noble friend confirm that the cost of providing storage for periods when the wind does not blow, which can last for days, will be astronomical? That is particularly true of batteries, since the cost of lithium is 10 times what it was a year ago. We will continue to need gas for quite a considerable while to provide that back-up. Will the Government implement the recommendations of the Dieter Helm report that, when bidding to go on the grid in future, intermittent suppliers should do so in conjunction with the back-up supplies that are needed when theirs are not available as the wind is not blowing?

    Lord Callanan: My noble friend’s question deserves a long answer because it is a complicated subject. We need to differentiate between short-term storage, particularly from batteries and elsewhere, which is currently expensive—although prices are coming down—and longer-term storage provided by the likes of pump storage stations such as Dinorwig. That has been around for decades, and there are similar schemes in Scotland too. We need to do all these things. We need to get more offshore wind because it is a very cheap form of power, but it is intermittent, so we also need storage capacity to balance out that intermittency. As the noble Lord, Lord Fox, said, we also need more nuclear for baseload power.