Analysts describe ‘harsh environment for fossil fuels’

The difficulties facing the fossil fuel power sector in the UK have been highlighted by analysis produced by energy data specialists EnAppSys this week.

The consultancy provided a chart highlighting what they referred to as ‘just how miserable Q4 has been for fossil fuels due to high renewables and nuclear‘ on twitter on Monday and Energy analyst Rob Lalor told Power Engineering International explained the acutely difficult scenario those involved in the sector face.
Big coal power plant
“Levels of renewable generation combined with total imports of power from the continent averaged around 2 GW of average power output prior to 2007, but these levels have risen to exceed 10 GW in Q4 2015; an increase of around 8 GW.”

This has had a significant impact upon fossil fuel power stations.

“Power plants, which had typical load factors of 56 per cent between 2002 and 2007 implies that the higher contribution of renewables and interconnectors to British electricity markets has in effect displaced generation at 14.4 GW of fossil fuel stations.”

“Renewables are an intermittent source of power generation so cannot provide a guaranteed generation profile, creating a requirement for reserve power generation and reducing the requirement for baseload generators.”

Lalor added the market for fossil fired generation has dropped the equivalent of 4 Drax Power Stations – the largest power station in the market.

“It’s making for difficult trading conditions; time will tell if the capacity market and prices available for peaking can redress these difficulties.”

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