Petrol from fresh air

One big problem with all these renewable energies is they are prone to producing electricity at the wrong time and they cannot be easily switched on and off when required. That means the electricity they produce cannot be sold for much. The ability to store that electricity would make it far more valuable.

True. Unfortunately, there are no viable storage methods on the scale we need.
Funnily enough the same problem applies to nuclear.
Very very wrong. Nuclear provide a baseload supply. It is not an intermittent supply governed by the whim of nature. A normal reactor will generally have a capacity factor of about 90%. The remaining 10% is generally scheduled shutdowns for refuelling, meaning that the grid can easily cope with it, as it is planned.

GenIV reactors are thought to be able to provide a variable supply, and this is due to the lower cost rather than a technical fix.

So if they could turn that low value electricity into high value petrol then it might make economic sense even if the conversion was uneconomical - in theory at least Somebody needs to put together a spreadsheet !
Using wind turbines to produce petrol in this way would be prohibitively expensive.
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Very very right :)

The fact that nuclear is always on, and baseline, makes the electricity not worth much, and it's also being generated in the middle of the night when nobody really needs it. The most expensive electricity for the grid to buy is the stuff you can literally turn on at the flick of a switch eg that pumped storage place in Wales.

Other expensive electricity to buy are the smaller gas stations that can be up and running in a minute or so. It's simple supply and demand. The stuff that's always there (nuclear) is cheap, the stuff that the grid has to purchase at short notice to keep the power flowing costs a lot more.

However we still need to be building nuclear power stations like mad, the true cost of generating the electricity will have to be subsidised somehow, it won't be profitable in an open market.
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