After sustaining a prolonged period of cold weather and decreased wind generation, Britain’s electric generators are compelled to provide energy by activating its coal-fired power generation for the second time.
The National Grid’s electricity system operator (ESO) conveyed early on Sunday that, due to poor weather conditions anticipated, it has requested Drax and EDF to commence “warming” its two coal units in North Yorkshire site and West Burton plant at Nottinghamshire respectively for steady supply of energy on Monday.
In addition the operator stated that between 5pm and 6pm, it would be activating its live demand flexibility services. Selected customers would be encouraged to limit their energy competition during those hours by providing financial incentives.
A similar request was made in the middle of December, but coal power plants were not “fired-up” since there was abundant alternative energy at hand. “Our forecasts show electricity supply margins are expected to be tighter than normal on Monday evening,” the ESO stated. “We have instructed coal-fired power units to be available to increase electricity supplies should it be needed tomorrow evening.”
“This does not mean electricity supplies are at risk and people should not be worried. These are precautionary measures to maintain the buffer of spare capacity we need.”
At the request from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the ESO had started to negotiate a winter contingency contract with several coal generators during last summer between a price peak in gas caused due to Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Overall, this is likely to be a challenging winter for energy supply throughout Europe. We have taken extensive measures to try to mitigate the impacts for British consumers and expect that, under our base case, margins will be adequate,” ESO conveyed at the time.
Although enough power is generated from onshore and offshore wind turbines, precautionary measures are taken to ensure that there is a steady supply of energy throughout the entire country on Monday, the ESO stated.
Wind power accounted for 17.6% or roughly 6.89 gigawatts of total power generated as the citizens of the UK enjoyed light winds and a cold sunny Sunday.
A new world record was set two weeks ago on 10th January when the British wind farms produced 21.69GW, more than three times energy on average.
Although the UK is prepared to activate its coal units on Sunday, the energy produced is still eco-friendly. According to ESO, zero-carbon energy sources provided more than 50% of the nation’s power in December, and a new record of 87.2% of electricity in one day from zero-carbon sources was set on December 30.
- Published By Team Timeswire