The days of coal powered energy aren’t as numbered as they seem. Until the long-delayed nuclear plant Hinkley Point C comes online, experts say the UK may start to see emissions rise once more. Drax unit 5 went dark at exactly 11:35pm on April 9. The belching coal power plant in North Yorkshire was powered down as demand for heating and electricity dropped to near-record lows, prompted by unseasonably high temperatures. Then exactly a month passed and a record was broken. Britain had gone its longest stretch since the Industrial Revolution without coal power. As climate campaigners rejoiced, energy veterans pointed to an uncomfortable truth: the UK has relied on coal power for most of this past winter. On some days, coal contributed as much as 9pc to electricity and heating demand. The system is “still very much reliant on coal”, says Kathryn Porter, an energy consultant at Watt-Logic. Fossil fuel is, of course, in decline, according to Porter. “The economics of coal-fired generation are dire,” she says, pointing to the number of plants that have closed, or announced they plan to close, ahead of the October 2024 deadline for the end of all coal power in Britain.
Telegraph 31st May 2020 read more »