UK Coal-burning Power Plant to Stay Open Two Years Longer Than Planned

UK Coal-burning Power Plant to Stay Open Two Years Longer Than Planned

Following ministers’ request, Ratcliffe-on-Soar will remain operational through the end of 2024 due to the energy crisis.

Following a request from ministers in response to the UK’s energy crisis, a coal-burning power plant in Nottinghamshire will remain operational two years past its original planned closure date.

Ratcliffe-on-Soar was initially scheduled to close in 2022, but last year it announced an initial extension until 31 March 2023.

In an effort to reduce carbon emissions, the government plans to phase out coal from the production of electricity in Britain.

In Britain, coal-fired power plants produced more than 40% of the nation’s electricity ten years ago, but by last year, that percentage had dropped to 1.5%. British coal use is to be completely phased out by 2020, according to ministers.

The Russian gas boycott was sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. To maintain stations open as backup options, emergency contracts between energy suppliers and National Grid were created.

According to the Daily Telegraph, no one has yet requested that any of the coal-fired power plants stay operational this winter as a precaution.

Ratcliffe-on-Soar has four units, one of which was scheduled to close in September 2022 but will now do so in September 2024 along with the other three units.

The power plant can be seen next to the Midland mainline railway line between London and Leeds, which is distinguished by its eight distinctive concrete cooling towers.

The announcement comes as wind turbines in Britain on Tuesday produced a record amount of electricity. According to National Grid data, wind energy supplied 21.6 GW of the country’s early-evening electricity needs, or roughly 50% of the power required in Britain between 6 and 6.30 p.m.

Due to people starting to prepare their evening meals or returning from work, demand is typically high during this time of day.

After a previous best was set on December 30, the wind record has now been broken twice in two weeks in Britain.

The German energy giant Uniper, which owns the Nottinghamshire plant, said: “The government has requested that Uniper investigate whether we can make the unit available to operate under standard market conditions until the September 2024 phase-out date for coal.

“The unit has been prequalified to participate in the capacity market T-1 auction for 2023–2024 (a backup power auction). To increase the unit’s lifespan, more money will be needed. On September 30, 2024, the power plant is scheduled to shut down.”

A government spokesman said: “We remain confident in the security of our energy supply because the UK has a secure and diverse energy system.

“We constantly monitor our energy supply and make sure we are prepared for a variety of scenarios by collaborating closely with Ofgem, National Grid Gas, and other important industry organizations.

“The government intends to phase out coal-fired power generation without interruption by the end of 2024 in order to meet our net zero target.”


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