Polluting coal power stations in Britain have been profiting from the woes of the low-carbon French nuclear industry this month, according to analysis of energy generation data for the Guardian. Tricastin, one of France’s biggest nuclear power stations, was closed by the French regulator in September so that works could be undertaken to address a flood risk. The plant’s reactors make up four of the 39 currently offline in the French nuclear power industry, which experienced even worse outages last winter due to regulatory safety checks. The operators of Britain’s eight remaining coal power stations appear to have stepped in to exploit higher French prices, exporting power across the channel as temperatures have plunged. UK coal power generation has declined rapidly in recent years under the carbon tax. Most of the time, France sends electricity to the UK through 43-mile-long cables between Folkestone and a site near Calais, but in November there have been more hours when power has flowed in the other direction.
Guardian 18th Nov 2017 read more »