Renewables and coal take up the slack as UK freezes

Coal and renewable energy have made big contributions to the UK’s power generation during the present freezing conditions resulting from the ‘Beast from the East’ cold front emanating from Siberia.

Frozen UK The conditions have seen a shortfall in the country’s gas supplies, according to energy consultancy, EnAppSys.

In terms of the UK’s power generation mix in light of this poor weather, it reads as follows: 25 per cent gas, 21 per cent coal-fired power and 34 per cent renewables (biomass, wind, solar, hydro). This marks a resurgence in coal power.

There have been issues with Norwegian Gas flows, which continue to impact the UK and Europe (and are scheduled to continue to be on outage for the next few days due to the weather). The NBP gas system has been running at a large supply/demand deficit for the opening seven hours of today and will require a combination of supply to turn up and demand (in the form of gas to power units and large industrial users) to turn down to be able to balance the system in the hours remaining.

Oliver Burdett, commercial director at EnAppSys told Power Engineering International, à‚ “National Grid has bought up to 325 p/th, which is simply huge in an effort to incentivise the system to balance and tempt further flows to the UK.”

“They may well succeed today, but tomorrow is likely to be equally as tough to balance. It looks like more of the same: big turn downs on CCGT and gas fired units and sustained flows from gas storage.

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