UK coal power plant fired up due to electricity needs

Warm autumn weather has hindered wind farms.

By Matt Maynard · 7th September 2021

Warm autumn weather has meant wind farms have not produced as much power as normal, which has resulted in the need to fire up an old coal power plant. 

National Grid ESO asked EDF to fire up West Burton A, a power plant which was on standby and not in use. Despite National Grid ESO aiming to cut coal power out completely by 2024, it is sometimes used because it is better value than gas. 

Due to gas prices hitting record highs because of increased demand and shortages, more coal is being burnt in England. 

While countries expect gas reserves to be replenished in the summer months after winter, disruptions to supply and economic rebound as countries emerge out of lockdown have caused a shortage of gas.

A National Grid spokesman said: "In balancing the electricity system, we take actions in economical order and not on the basis of generation type.

"Depending on system conditions, some power sources may be better at meeting a balancing requirement than others - so the most cost-effective solution to ensure safe, secure system operation will be sought."

The decision to fire up another coal power plant highlighted the urgent need to invest in new nuclear plants, according to the The Nuclear Industry Association.

"Otherwise, we will continue to burn coal as a fall-back and fall well short of our net zero ambitions," the trade body's chief executive, Tom Greatrex, said.

Source: BBC News

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