The Dutch import story behind Britain’s no-coal record

Posted: June 6, 2019 by oldbrew in Energy
Tags: , ,

Dutch coal power plant

So Britain’s recent ‘coal free’ spell of electricity generation turns out to be somewhat fake news. The exaggerated claims made for renewables – mostly wind power – in this period are therefore largely undermined.

Between May 17-31, Britain saw its first two-week period without domestic coal-fired power stations generating electricity since the 1880s, says PEI.

However, modelling carried out by energy market data analyst EnAppSys shows that power generated from coal has been imported from abroad over the same period – with the most coming from the Netherlands.

EnAppSys says that high carbon taxes in Britain were the key reason why the UK’s electricity system has run without coal for the last two weeks – and it adds that further no-coal records could be broken should these taxes remain at current levels.

These higher carbon taxes do not, however, apply in neighbouring regions and over the initial two-week period of zero coal, Britain imported 50.9 GWh of power from coal-fired plants operating abroad.

Of this power, only a relatively low share of the modelled coal-originating imports came from France and Ireland (0.1 GWh and 0.9 GWh respectively), with France seeing a high share of power from nuclear plants and with Ireland seeing high levels of wind generation over the noted period.

Instead, the largest share of the modelled total was from the Netherlands, where coal-fired power stations continue to operate at a high level of activity as a result of only paying around half the carbon taxes paid within the UK.

Rob Lalor, senior analyst at EnAppSys, said: “Britain’s move towards a green future has seen an increased reliance on low-carbon power sources to generate electricity. This has coincided with a shift in Britain’s energy policy, with coal plants set to be phased out by 2025 and high-polluting power plants penalised by higher carbon taxes, which include the GB carbon price floor of £18 per tonne.

“This has translated into a two-week period without coal-fired power being generated within Britain, but with European markets seeing less aggressive carbon pricing, electricity generated by coal-fired power stations would have continued to have been consumed within British households.”

Continued here.

  1. ivan says:

    The so called ‘carbon taxes’ should be levied on all forms of power generation especially the unreliable ‘renewables’ since their ‘carbon’ footprint is greater than coal fired power plants.

    The other thing that should be introduced is a guaranteed supply of power no matter who produces it. The grid should be buying power in month long segments and the producer that gets the contract to supply must guarantee the amount of power they supply over that period with hefty penalties for non supply, over supply is up to the producer to find a market for.

    The real answer is for the country to dump all the ‘green’ nonsense and taxes but with the state of the parliamentarians at the moment (there aren’t any of them that haven’t bought into the green scam) there is no way that will happen. We need a new Cromwell to clean up the politics of the country.

  2. MrGrimNasty says:

    On most occasions I’ve checked out these coal free claims, it has usually transpired that demand was low enough to be entirely met without the solar/wind contribution too.

    It is indeed completely fake news.

    They never report at times of high demand that the coal was vital and OCGT was used to keep the lights on!

  3. Phoenix44 says:

    The UK still has coal plants and you don’t switch thees things on and off – I don’t believe they were not running still during these times. It may well be that they were not dispatching electricity, but they were certainly burning coal. So we actually had a load of CO2 being produced, a load of cost produced to be passed to the consumer, but nothing useful being done with the heat generated.

    It’s a total fake to say there was no coal generation if we mean no coal was being burnt.

  4. Phoenix44 says:

    ivan, not sure you have grasped how a carbon tax works. it is levied on all production of CO2. So yes, if renewables use a lot of CO2 in their production (like being constructed), their cost will include the carbon tax. That’s why carbon taxes work – prices include ALL costs for every form of generation. It is the arbitrary taxes and imposts that are bad and allow governments to pick and choose what they want to be the “cheapest”.

  5. oldbrew says:

    O/T — Renault-Fiat car cos. merger is OFF despite this…


    When will leaders snap out of brain-dead mode on fake climate issues?
    – – –

    Fiat Chrysler blames the French government as it withdraws its offer to buy Renault

  6. ivan says:

    Phoenix44, that may be so but for some strange reason all the unreliables seem to manage not to pay it – rather strange that.

  7. stpaulchuck says:

    as usual half truths that are lies in the end

  8. Coeur de Lion says:

    The Beeb didn’t mention the subsequent five day wind free event – well, not entirely wind free, only 4%.

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