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UK Falls Back On Coal And Gas Plants To Keep The Lights On

October 15, 2016
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By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Stewgreen

 

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From GWPF:

 

National Grid will pay £122m to keep fossil fuel plants on standby

Contracts worth £122m to keep coal and gas-fired power stations on standby will help Britain avoid electricity blackouts this winter, National Grid has forecast, highlighting the difficulties facing the UK as it attempts to wean its power sector off fossil fuels.

The UK’s electricity system operator forecast that the margin between supply and demand over the course of the winter would be 6.6 per cent, an increase of almost 30 per cent on last year’s cushion and wider than a provisional forecast made in July.

However, without measures to ensure the availability of back-up generating capacity when regular supplies run low, the margin this winter would be close to record lows at 1.1 per cent, according to National Grid’s annual Winter Outlook.

National Grid will pay for 10 coal and gas-fired plants to keep spare capacity on standby, with further sums to be paid if they are called into action. These include coal plants at Eggborough in Yorkshire and Fiddlers Ferry in Cheshire that had previously been earmarked for closure.

The dependence on fossil fuels to guarantee energy security during the winter months highlights the challenge facing the UK government as it seeks to phase out coal-fired power by 2025 in pursuit of aggressive carbon reduction goals.

http://www.thegwpf.com/uk-falls-back-on-fossil-fuel-plants-to-keep-the-lights-on/

 

Meanwhile, the laughably titled “Energy Analyst”, from Richard Black’s renewables propganda unit, claims that paying to keep coal power stations on standby proves we can do without fossil fuel powered power stations:

 

Jonathan Marshall, Energy Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said the operator’s Winter Outlook shows that the UK continues “to have a reliable electricity system” as it goes through this “period of transition”.

He added: “The 6.6% margin is comfortably within National Grid’s statutory requirements from the government, up by nearly 30% on last year’s margin. It shows how the segue from old, fossil fuel powered power stations to a system based on renewables and increased flexibility is taking place without the need for large capacity surpluses, which represent wasted investment.”

http://www.energylivenews.com/2016/10/14/national-grid-winter-outlook-reaction/

 

The Energy News Live news site also reports:

Jon Ferris, Strategy Director at Utilitywise said: “Coverage of National Grid’s Winter Outlook report rightly highlights that the actions they have taken have increased capacity margins over last year.

“However, the fact that wholesale prices for winter have risen to £60/MWh from a low of £36/MWh just a few months ago has been largely ignored. Consumers face a lower risk of blackouts, but this has come at a significant cost.”

17 Comments leave one →
  1. martinbrumby permalink
    October 15, 2016 10:20 am

    “Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit”
    A hot contender for the Oxymoron of the Year Award?

  2. AndyG55 permalink
    October 15, 2016 11:03 am

    You want to know the REALLY GOOD THING?.

    The REALLY GOOD THING is that because of China, India, Turkey, Indonesia, and many, many other countries that are continuing to EXPAND their fossil fuel use…

    …. there will CONTINUE to be an increase in atmospheric CO2 for any time in the foreseeable future.

    And there is absolutely NOTHING any of the AGW scammers can do about it.🙂

    So we should all just SMILE, and be happy for the world’s plant life and food supplies🙂

    And he can only hope that the once-developed countries wake up to the reality that increased atmospheric CO2 is totally and absolutely beneficially to all the world, and hence to all mankind.

    • October 16, 2016 5:40 pm

      Even if all those countries were not using fossil fuels CO2 would still be increasing in the atmosphere because the overall CO2 level is increasing regardless of mans contributions. Bottom line is that warming causes CO2 emissions not the other way around, It’s called Henry s Law. The world has warmed since the Little Ice Age and that has caused more CO2 in the atmosphere, not the other way around.

      • Brett Keane permalink
        October 19, 2016 8:33 am

        @PHILIP VERSLUES permalink

        October 16, 2016 5:40 pm Dead right, Philip!

  3. A C Osborn permalink
    October 15, 2016 11:40 am

    I just love the way he played this “It shows how the segue from old, fossil fuel powered power stations to a system based on renewables and increased flexibility is taking place without the need for large capacity surpluses, which represent wasted investment.””

    The investment was made anything up to 40 years ago and has paid for itself over & over again, the only “wasted investment” is intermittent RE, which still requires that so called wasted investment in FF power.
    I am sure they are living in some kind of reversed parallel universe.

  4. Kevin B permalink
    October 15, 2016 12:45 pm

    “National Grid will pay £122m to keep fossil fuel plants on standby”

    I wonder where the National grid will get the money to pay for these standby plants.

    Could it be the consumer, the taxpayer or both?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 17, 2016 6:12 pm

      One and the same surely since consumers pay taxes. Other people’s stupidity doesn’t come cheap. And should we have a mega-winter there will still be problems as we could run out of gas.

  5. Bloke down the pub permalink
    October 15, 2016 12:52 pm

    Jon Ferris, Strategy Director at Utilitywise said: “Coverage of National Grid’s Winter Outlook report rightly highlights that the actions they have taken have increased capacity margins over last year.

    “However, the fact that wholesale prices for winter have risen to £60/MWh from a low of £36/MWh just a few months ago has been largely ignored. Consumers face a lower risk of blackouts, but this has come at a significant cost.”

    This Jon Ferris sounds like a very wise chap.

  6. catweazle666 permalink
    October 15, 2016 6:26 pm

    It shows how the segue from old, fossil fuel powered power stations to a system based on renewables and increased flexibility is taking place without the need for large capacity surpluses

    So paying well over the odds to keep existing fossil fuel plants on standby at vast expense to the consumer for when the ‘unreliables’ are unable to cope with demand doesn’t constitute a ‘capacity surplus’?

    I’m glad we’ve got that sorted out…

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      October 15, 2016 8:27 pm

      South Australia shut down its last coal fired station in May. In June the base electricity price went up 75%. In July it rocketted up to the stratosphere – in between blackouts. Then a storm caused a State wide blackout in late September when wind shut down and we couldn’t import enough coal fired electricity from Victoria. There is no guarantee that there won’t be blackouts this summer (usually the season of highest demand, up to near double what it was when things fell apart).

      Just a segue of course. Good luck this coming winter.

      • Brett Keane permalink
        October 19, 2016 8:37 am

        @Graeme No.3 permalink

        October 15, 2016 8:27 pm: In effect, the price became infinite….

  7. tom0mason permalink
    October 16, 2016 6:13 am

    Well you need to keep the lights on so that all those priority eco-car drivers charged-up.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/13/electric-vehicles-could-go-first-at-traffic-lights-under-uk-clean-air-zone-plans

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 17, 2016 6:17 pm

      Just how is an electric car in a stream of traffic going to go first? And they make up some BS cost to society of people dying to justify this.

  8. Ex-expat Colin permalink
    October 16, 2016 8:29 am

    The HFC…it hurts us:
    Kerry…”It’s a monumental step forward, that addresses the needs of individual nations but it will give us the opportunity to reduce the warming of the planet by an entire half a degree centigrade,” he told BBC News.

    Trump has to get in..just to get rid that head case Kerry and his mates!

  9. Ross King permalink
    October 16, 2016 9:08 pm

    The astronomic rise in home-owners’ energy bills is the elephant in the room that the Pooh-Bahs wish to ignore as an Inconvenient Truth. They are supplanting cheap energy with expensive energy … f*** little ol’ grannies freezing in the dark!
    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that the fundamental base (from which all human aspirations spring) comprises Food, Shelter, Warmth, Security.
    A government that cannot facilitate formulaically the cheapest-possible provisions of basic needs is fundamentally out-of-touch with an increasingly large proportion of its electorate, and deserves to be replaced.
    To Heck with airy-fairy, look-good, Conference Junkets, unenforceable Paris/Kyoto/Copenhagen/Rio Accords … for c’sakes look after the welfare of the weakest in your society first.
    The Decision Makers in Whitehall — to extend the Maslow analysis — are all Self-Actualizers, whose primary drivers are Self-Power, Comparative Success over Peers, Self-Aggrandizement, Personal Accolade & Reward. Think Sir Humphrey. They’ve got their heads stuck in stratospheric clouds beyond the wildest comprehension of the average voter and homeowner
    Time to ‘Get-Real’ Guys! If you can’t ‘do-it’, maybe Jeremy Corbyn can.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 17, 2016 6:30 pm

      In their mad world we are supposed to reduce our consumption with greater efficiency which is how they claimed with a straight face that our costs won’t rocket.

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