Britain’s electricity grid goes 46 days without coal

Smoke pours from coal fired power plant against blue sky (britain)
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Britain has started burning coal to power its electricity grid for the first time in 46 days after gas plants underwent maintenance, demand for air conditioning spiked and wind generation dropped.

According to the Hexam Courant, Uniper’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal plant began generating electricity for the first time in weeks on Monday, with another plant on standby.

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The report said coal was producing around 0.2% of the electricity being used in the United Kingdom, bringing an end to a 46-day coal-free streak for Britain’s grid.

The streak fell short of matching the nearly 68-day record it set in the summer of 2020, which was the longest single period since 1882 the grid operated without coal generation.

On Monday, a series of factors signalled National Grid’s electricity systems operator to bring coal generators back online.

The main factor was gas power plants being taken offline for maintenance—a common occurrence during summer when electricity demand is normally lower.

Secondly, wind power was supplying a lot less electricity than usual due to a fall in wind speeds.

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Wind generation fell from 22.5% to just 9.3% on Monday morning. This was in part offset by a rise in the amount of solar power being put into the grid.

Read the full article here.

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