Despite Requests from The Government to Remain on Standby, Two Aging UK Coal Plants Will Close in March.

The Government to Remain on Standby, Two Aging UK Coal Plants Will Close in March.

The facilities were initially slated to close in 2022, but the government requested that they stay on standby for the winters of 2022 and 2023 to fill in amid the prolonged energy crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

West Burton’s two remaining units According to the agreement made last year, a coal-fired power plant in Nottinghamshire will shut down as scheduled on March 31st, 2023, according to Electricite de France (EDF), which runs one of the plants, as reported by the Press Association.

The only time EDF’s West Burtonplant was utilized this winter was on March 7 during a cold snap. The other plant is a Drax facility in North Yorkshire, which has not yet been used this winter.

The Government to Remain on Standby, Two Aging UK Coal Plants Will Close in March.

According to BBC News, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero instructed the National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) on Wednesday to make sure that there were backup energy plans in place for the winters of 2023 and 2024.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero requested that we investigate the procurement of winter contingency contracts, for additional non-gas-fired capacity over the winter of 2023–2024 that would not otherwise have been available, in a letter that was received and acknowledged at the Operational Transparency Forum this morning, according to the Press Association.

But, According to Both Operators, that Would Not Be Feasible.

According to EDF, as reported by the Press Association, extending the life of West Burton A once again is exceedingly difficult due to a variety of staffing and operational issues. For instance, keeping local, appropriately qualified employees on staff to ensure the safe operation was a huge difficulty last year and, going forward, becomes impossible given that a large portion of the workforce has already continued to work well past their scheduled retirement dates.

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By the second quarter of this year, around half the workforce will be retiring. Around half of these have already received notices, and they depart in early April. A sizable portion of the station leadership team is included in this.

Moreover, Drax announced that it would be difficult to continue operating for another year and that its plant would be shut down at the end of March.

[W]ith a number of certifications expiring on the coal-fired units, the units would not be able to operate compliantly for winter 2023, aDraxspokesperson said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

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According to BBC News: ESO said that it was unable to comment on ongoing negotiations.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero stated in a statement that the choice will ultimately be a commercial one for the coal generators, and ESO will notify the market in due course.

As part of its effort to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to solve the climate issue, Britain has previously committed to closing all of its coal-fired plants by October 2024, according to Reuters. According to Carbon Brief, although coal is infamous for being the dirtiest fuel used for energy, its use has dropped significantly in the UK in recent years, reaching levels last seen before the commencement of the industrial revolution in 1757.

Author: Vishal Rana

Vishal is working as a Content Editor at Enviro360. He covers a wide range of topics, including media, energy, weather, industry news, daily news, climate, etc. Apart from this, Vishal is a sports enthusiast and loves to play cricket. Also, he is an avid moviegoer and spends his free time watching Web series and Hollywood Movies.

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