I am trying to understand the challenge of decarbonising the power grid, and the equivalence between different generation technologies.
If a nuclear power plant has a capacity of 4GW and a capacity factor of 90%, how much installed capacity of wind turbines with a capacity factor of 40% would be required to match that output?
How about the same with solar pv with a capacity factor of 25%?
What area of land/sea would be required by that installed capacity of wind or pv to match that 4GW power output?
These are the numbers I get but I have been told they are ridiculously wrong. One of the worlds largest offshore sites is the London Array - 630 MW 122 sq km (47 sq mile) That works out to 194 sq km per GW installed capacity. (75 sq mile) The London Array capacity factor 36.8% So to produce 1GW average power you need to overbuild by a factor of nearly three, and would need about 200 sq miles. A large nuclear power station puts out 4GW, so equivalent power to about 800 square miles of offshore turbines.