Emergency Coal Power Plants Used for First Time as UK Sees Cold Snap

Emergency Coal Power Plants Used for First Time as UK Sees Cold Snap

The UK anticipates experiencing its coldest night of the year thus far, and two outdated coal-fired power plants have started up again.

The plants had been put on standby in case of shortfalls but started feeding power into the grid this afternoon.

High demand and a lack of other sources of electricity were to blame, according to National Grid.

The coal plants were scheduled to shut down last September but had started operating in 1966.

At the government’s request, however, operators have kept them open for an additional six months due to worries about potential power shortages.

On Tuesday evening, the UK’s average temperature is forecast to drop to -15C (5F), and the nation will likely see snowfall in some areas.

Weather warnings are in effect across the UK as a result of the impending cold snap.

The two coal-powered stations that are currently operational are located in West Burton, Nottinghamshire.

Earlier in the day, two additional backup coal-fired units at the Drax power station in Yorkshire were instructed to prepare for use as well, but they have since been stood down.

The other is at Ratcliffe on Soar, and National Grid has a total of five coal-fired generating units on standby.

This week, additional generating capacity was scheduled because there were worries that the gap between supply and demand was getting too small.

National Grid blames the cold weather, a shortage of wind and solar power generation, and a lack of electricity available through interconnectors from France due to strike action in the country.

On the other hand, there are currently no plans to use the so-called demand flexibility service, which compensates consumers for using less electricity.

The grid is anticipated to be less stressed because more electricity will be available through global undersea cables, despite the fact that tomorrow’s cold weather is expected to persist.

The dirtiest fossil fuel is coal, which emits almost twice as many emissions as natural gas.

In recent years, coal has been gradually phased out of the UK’s energy mix in favor of gas and wind power.

However, due to worries about the disruption of Russian gas supplies to Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the government decided to postpone this. To help the UK transition to more sustainable energy production, the coal-fired plants were scheduled to shut down last autumn.

2% of the nation’s electricity production in 2017 came from coal-fired power plants.

Reference: www.bbc.com

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