After ministers’ call, prompted by Britain’s energy crisis, a Nottinghamshire coal-burning power station will remain fully operational for at least two more years.
Ratcliffe-on-Soar was originally scheduled to close in 2022. However, last year it announced that it would be extended until 31 March 2023.
This closure is part of the government’s effort to reduce carbon emissions by removing coal from Britain’s energy production.
In the past decade, more than 40% of Britain’s electricity was generated by coal-fired plants. However, that number has fallen to 1.5% last year. Britain has been given a goal by ministers to eliminate all coal use.
However, countries began to boycott Russian gas after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. National Grid and energy suppliers negotiated emergency contracts to ensure that stations remained open in case of an emergency.
The Daily Telegraph reports that so far, none of the stations powered by coal have asked to remain online for the winter.
Ratcliffe-on-Soar had been scheduled to close in September 2022. However, it will now close along with three other units in September 2024.
You can see the power station with its eight distinctive concrete cooling towers next to the Midland mainline railway between London and Leeds.
This news comes as Britain generates a record-breaking amount of electricity using wind turbines Tuesday. National Grid data revealed that 21.6GW of electricity came from wind in the early hours of the evening. This is about half of the electricity required across Britain between 6pm and 6.30pm.
This is the time of day when demand is high as people return to work or prepare dinner.
After a previous record of 30 December, this is now the second consecutive breaking of the British wind record.
Uniper, a German energy giant, stated that the Nottinghamshire plant is owned by Uniper.
“We have prequalified this unit to participate in the capacity market T-1 Auction for 2023/24 [an online auction for backup power]. This will require further investment to prolong the life of this unit. The power station will close in September 2024.
A spokesperson for the government stated that: “The UK has an energy system that is secure and diverse, and we are confident in our supply security.
“We work closely with Ofgem and National Grid Gas to monitor our energy supply and make sure we are prepared for all scenarios.
“In accordance with our net zero goal, the government plans to eliminate unabated coal fired power generation by 2024.”