Originally posted by KazetNagorra
so wind power works reasonably well there but isn't much of a solution elsewhere.
Not true! The UK happens to be one of the best places if not the best place in the whole of Europe for wind energy!
See, for example:
The UK is the windiest country in Europe and could power itself several times over using wind
"...The UK has 40%
of the wind energy in Europe making the country a prime target for wind energy generation ...
Also, you need something to fall back upon if there is no wind.
There are already a combination of solutions to that which could be developed if only there was the political will to make it happen. The 3 main potential solutions, which would probably be used combined together, are:
1, combine wind with several other types of renewables (plus possibly with some nuclear if cost effective )
2, use a supergrid to transport electricity efficiently over vast distances from where it is currently windy to where it isn't.
3, if 1 and 2 above is not quite enough alone, use off-the-grid storage. This is the most expensive solution out of these 3 options which is why it should generally be done for only when and where 1 and 2 doesn't quite cover it and, even then, only for that part that isn't covered by 1 and 2. But, still, its doable.
The combination of the above 3 main solutions can be combined with several other lesser partial solutions I know of and to all add up to a complete solution that doesn't require fossil fuels as backup.