One of many UK’s final remaining coal energy crops needed to be fired up on Monday morning, as low winds meant the Nationwide Grid wanted an extra supply of vitality.
West Burton A, in Lincolnshire, is due to be decommissioned this time next year, however for the second it’s nonetheless on the prepared if the UK wants electrical energy.
The shortage of wind was because of the excessive stress system within the North West, which has led to calm air within the areas with probably the most generators.
It has additionally brought about the warm weather currently in the UK.
The shortage of breeze meant that West Burton was wanted to offer stability to the grid.
It meant that for the primary time since March this yr, greater than 1.5GW of energy for the UK was generated by coal – equal to 546 wind generators price.
It additionally meant as much as 5% of the UK’s energy was coming from coal.
A spokesman for EDF, which runs the plant, stated: “Two models on the station have helped to stability the UK electrical energy system with a view to guarantee safety of provide.”
Using coal energy to stability the grids is just not uncommon, however is changing into much less frequent because the UK strikes away from a reliance on the fossil gasoline.
There are at present solely two coal crops related to the UK grid – West Burton, and Uniper’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar in Nottinghamshire, which shall be decommissioned by 2024 under current plans.
In addition to the dearth of wind, using coal has been brought on by rising prices of different energy sources.
A surge in demand for pure fuel because of the reopening from the pandemic – throughout which output was lower – has led to rising costs of the UK’s essential supply of energy.
Shopping for energy from different European grids can also be costly at present.
The grid has been utilizing coal energy in small quantities since Wednesday in a bid to optimise output.
Final yr, the UK had greater than 5,000 hours throughout which no coal energy was used.
This compares to 188 hours in 2016 – the primary yr to keep away from coal energy.
To the tip of Could this yr, there have been 1,511 hours with out coal.