UK fires up old coal plants to prevent power cuts 

Posted: December 12, 2022 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Incompetence
Tags: , ,

Drax power station, generating 7% of Britain’s needs, is partly converted to burning imported woodchips.

Staying warm, or even alive, takes priority over tedious climate dogma. Energy policy related to electricity generation is exposed as pitifully inadequate when the wind dies down and the days are short. The demise of cold spells in winter has been greatly exaggerated.
– – –
Emergency plans to fire up old coal plants have been triggered by National Grid as cold weather sparked fears of a supply shortage, says Energy Live News.

Two coal-fired generation units at Drax power station in Yorkshire have been instructed to be warmed up and ready for potential usage today.

In a statement last night, the National Grid ESO said: “This evening we have issued a notification to warm the winter contingency coal units.

“This measure should give the public confidence in Monday’s energy supply. This notification is not confirmation that these units will be used on Monday, but that they will be available to the ESO if required.”

It is the first time any of the standby coal power units have been asked to warm up since the government asked companies to delay their closure to support the grid’s resilience.

Full article here.
– – –
Related: UK could pay £420m for keeping coal-fired power stations open this winter
Sky News UK: Future of renewable energy in balance as UK suffers wind drought – with ‘global stilling’ to come
Quote: The UK is gambling on wind in the future of renewables – but as we’re seeing, having the turbines doesn’t make them turn.

  1. Philip Mulholland says:

    Is that one they forgot to blow up?

  2. saighdear says:

    Yes, I thought was Drax was a woodchip / straw ….straw? -whatever happened to all the straw – hear nothing about that now.
    Nevermind , Gridwatch shows me the highest demand I’ve seen for a while, coming up for 45GW and wind can only barely supply ONE – a SINGLE GW ( 1 GW ) of that. and we’re going to supply more and on land by Xmas, according to some Phone-in Wifies on the recent Telly Phone-ins, etc. I ask you!

  3. stewgreen says:

    It’s a bit strange that some people don’t know Drax still has coal units.
    I guess they get their news from BBC MSM where news =PRasNews

  4. Jamie Spry says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Reality bites.
    And, how many more taxpayer-trillions need to be torched at the alter of ClimateChange™️, scarring the land with useless, industrial eco-crucifixes and mirrors, before the suicidal ‘fog of Green’ clears?

  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    The 4 Drax wood chip burning units supply just less than 4 GW. The 2 other units (if enough coal is available) would add another 2GW – better than those wind turbines at the moment and much more reliable.
    Slowly and reluctantly the “renewables” fantasy is failing in the face of reality.

  6. Chaswarnertoo says:

    So remind me why the morons blew up serviceable coal plants….

  7. saighdear says:

    Yes Graeme, thnx for that detail. “if used” !! who writes that kinda stuff ( in the Mailonline) ‘The two units are each said to be capable of generating around 570 megawatts – adding more than 1.1 gigawatts to the grid if used.’ But / So where is all that coal coming from now? – Austrailia viaChina ? and How Long, delivery? When, is his Cousin from 北京市 .

  8. stewgreen says:

    The post is wrong to say it’s only Drax
    “This will involve Drax who have 2 out of 6 coal fired turbines on stand-by
    & West Burton near Retford”

    On @BBCRadioLincs National Grid ESO PR guy
    just said the reason they are having to warmup West Burton coal PS to standby
    “is largely due to Putin’s illegal invasion”

    Nope it’s due to UK rushing into crazy Green Energy policies

    Trains of coal have been spotted moving from Immingham to West Burton
    that’s strange cos they were supposed to use the onsite stockpile and then finish.

    [reply] ELN does mention the other coal plants later in its article

  9. saighdear says:

    .. and for the record, we have full sunshine this now for a few wee hours of a winter’s day, yet SOLAR producion is LESS than wind at around ONE GW ( 1 GW) … Maybe the Heron and ‘is cousin Theegret, should have a solar bonnet – maybe that would help catch a windfish ( Sail fish for tea with your cold chips, anyone? )
    Like a mannie said on the radio this morning, who would dump their old shoes before the new ones were made …
    Chaswarnertoo: as for the Morons – country is full of them in high places: but it’s jobs for the Bhoys – keeps an industry in work, and then some more later – endless supply of public cash -sometime in the future. Called a Job Creation Scheme. I’m inclined to say that even some of the Hi-heided yins in the Generation sector are there in name ONLY ( same idea as RINOS ). we have them in the Motor industry and regulation, too. ( VOSA etc. )

  10. stewgreen says:

    Rowlatt’s tweet isn’t accurate of course
    BBCnews seems very linked to #GreenBlob PR as they cut & paste to give us #PRasNews

    In the real world : Northern Ireland’s Kilroot COAL power station runs normally daily
    (15% of NI’s leccy today)
    & doesn’t get converted to gas until after 2024

    + coal power stations in Eire & Holland also feed UK grid

  11. oldbrew says:

    Imports at 12% are almost 4 times wind at 3.1% of UK electricity as of now. Coal at 2.9% just behind woeful wind.
    – – –
    Sunday November 27 2022, The Sunday Times
    In its scramble for coal, the UK is importing from countries it has never traded with before. Mozambique had never sent coal to Britain before but was the second largest exporter of coal to the UK in September behind the United States.

    From the same article…

    Since the UK’s “dash for gas” in the 1990s, coal’s share of electricity generation has halved and there are now only three coal fired plants running. Tony Lodge, political and energy analyst at the Centre for Policy Studies said the UK’s reliance on gas made it vulnerable to shocks.

    He said: “Having to ask 50 year old coal fired power stations to stay on for another two to three years in the hope the energy crisis will go away is a sign of a failed national energy policy.”

    Lodge said that the government should have a more balanced energy mix that would make the UK less vulnerable to shocks. [bold added]

    The government *thinks* it does have a balanced energy mix. But obviously not the right one, if geriatric coal plants are the last line of defence 🙄

  12. oldbrew says:

    Even Sky News UK today admits wind power, i.e. lack of it, is a problem…

    Future of renewable energy in balance as UK suffers wind drought – with ‘global stilling’ to come
    The UK is gambling on wind in the future of renewables – but as we’re seeing, having the turbines doesn’t make them turn.

    We will need to find some way of storing vast amounts of energy, invest in new sources, such as tidal power, or import much more through long distance cables.

    Only then can we be sure the lights will stay on without fossil fuels.

    ‘storing vast amounts of energy’? Good luck with that, dreamers 🤣

    The article even claims global stilling (due to expected warming) will reduce the strength of winds in future, making performance even worse.

    The UK is gambling on wind — but losing is the most likely result.

  13. stewgreen says:

    Update warmups been stood down now

    Oldbrew I have 3 comments from this page still stuck in moderation

  14. ilma630 says:

    I thought the UK govt were blowing up coal fired stations, not warming them up. I wouldn’t like to be the minister that boasted about blowing them up though.

    [reply] Nicola Sturgeon actually blows one up, here…

  15. oldbrew says:

    Having a blast…

  16. oldbrew says:

    Earlier today…

    France requests emergency cut in electricity exports to UK as nuclear crisis deepens

    RTE asked the National Grid if it could halve its scheduled exports through one of its interconnectors to the UK between 8am and 9am this morning as it wrestled with a spike in demand.

    A combination of the cold weather, strikes among its nuclear power workers and delayed maintenance on its fleet of reactors prompted the request.

  17. oldbrew says:

    UK weather live – Telegraph
    Met Office warns snow here to stay as freezing temperatures to continue

    Temperatures in northern Scotland dipped below minus 15C overnight, while roads in eastern and south-east England are among the worst affected.

    The icy weather coupled with expected rail strikes will prompt many people to work from home all week as travel disruption continues.

  18. catweazle666 says:

    Just as a matter of interest, has anyone ever bothered to calculate what the effect of extracting ever-increasing quantities of energy from the weather system and thus decreasing the momentum of the cyclone/anticyclone systems has on local and global weather?
    Somehow I can’t imagine it doesn’t have some effect!

  19. oldbrew says:

    More coal, quick!

    Weather live updates: ‘Coldest day in UK’ for more than a decade as temperature expected to drop below -10C again

    Earlier today, Met Office spokeswoman Nicky Maxey said that the wintry weather was set to continue.

    She said: “For much of this week it’s going to be very cold with these cold overnight temperatures, similar overnight temperatures and potentially maybe a bit colder.”

    Lowest temps in Scotland.

  20. oldbrew says:

    Natural gas-only boilers face ban by 2026

    Switch to hydrogen-ready models could be speeded up according to Government consultation
    13 December 2022

    All boilers installed after 2026 would have to be hydrogen-ready under the plan, which the Government announced in a consultation on Tuesday.

    The proposed change means dozens of existing boiler models on the market would become obsolete.
    – – –
    Hydrogen-ready but no hydrogen supply?

    Answer: Bacton

  21. ilma630 says:

    Why are they even bothering when the EROI of hydrogen is a measly 20-30%, i.e. 70-80% of the input energy is lost/wasted, and it takes a new, high grade distribution system to store and transport it!!?? It just doesn’t make any rational sense.

  22. oldbrew says:

    Energy firms urge people to turn off their electricity for a couple of hours tonight as snow blankets UK
    12 December 2022

    ‘Households and businesses which reduce their electricity consumption will be paid for every unit they do not use’

    Voluntary paid suffering to be the new normal in winter?

  23. oldbrew says:

    Power Grids Being Ruined By Preferential Treatment Of Unreliable Electricity
    DEC 14, 2022

    Today’s grids are being ruined by systemic preferences for unreliable electricity:

    1) no price penalty for being unreliable
    2) huge subsidies for unreliables
    3) mandates for unreliables

    Congress should end these now.
    . . .
    Although America could have world-leading electricity, the American grid is instead becoming a national embarrassment—with rising costs and mounting reliability problems, most problematically in California and Texas but now spreading around the country.

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