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Gas And Nuclear Needed For Energy Security

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

GMB Welcome Government Pledge On Energy Security As Top Priority And Say Gas And Nuclear Are Now Only Show In Town To Keep The Lights On

18/19 Oct and 2/ 3/ 4 Nov were five days in last month when wind was supplying 10% or less than the installed capacity to the grid and there has to be back up reliable and clean power available to cope with this says GMB

GMB, the union for energy and nuclear workers, commented on the statement by Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, that “energy security comes first and I am determined to ensure that the UK has secure, affordable, and clean energy supplies.” See notes to editors for copy of DECC press release dated 18th November 2015.

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for energy, said “GMB welcome Amber Rudd's statement that energy security is the top priority in terms of UK energy policy.

These welcome words need to be followed by action.

There were five days in the last 30 days when wind was supplying 10% or less than the installed wind capacity to the grid. These were 18 and 19th October and 2nd, 3rd and 4th November.  On 4th November National Grid had to invoke special measures to keep the lights on.

There can be eight to ten days per month when there is not a lot of output from the 10.2 W of installed wind capacity. There has to be back up reliable and clean power supplies available to cope with this. The only show in town now is gas and nuclear but Government needs to maintain investment in developing clean coal technology.

7.4GW of capacity is likely to come off at nine stations by 2016. Only one station is likely to be built in the coming year (Carrington, 900MW gas-fired station) that can provide solid, reliable power. The other major new build station – Trafford, c. 2GW – has stated there are major financing issues. See notes to editors for copy of GMB release dated 14th Oct with the details.

The question has to be asked whether a private monopoly like National Grid should be the body to deliver energy security.

We have to get away from the bonkers position where National Grid use consumer’s money to pay firms to stop work in order to avoid winter blackouts.

Government needs to get on with finalising deals to get investment for nuclear power stations and gas-fired stations to supply reliable power. The investment will only happen when the framework is right which it is not now."

End

Contact: Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary on 07860 606137 or Phil Whitehurst 07968 338810 or GMB Press Office on 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.

Notes to editors

1 Copy of DECC press release dated 18th November 2015.

Government announces plans to close coal power stations by 2025

From:

Department of Energy & Climate Change and The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP

The Government has announced plans to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025 and restrict their use by 2023.

The Government has announced plans to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025 and restrict their use by 2023.

Announcing the decision ahead of a major speech this morning which will set out a new direction for energy policy which has energy security at the heart of it and delivers for families and businesses, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said:

“Energy security comes first and I am determined to ensure that the UK has secure, affordable, and clean energy supplies that hardworking families and businesses can rely on now and in the future.

“We are tackling a legacy of underinvestment and ageing power stations which we need to replace with alternatives that are reliable, good value for money, and help to reduce our emissions.

“It cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting, carbon intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stations.

“Let me be clear: this is not the future.

“We need to build a new energy infrastructure, fit for the 21st century.

“Our determination to cut carbon emissions as cost effectively as possible is crystal clear and this step will make us one of the first developed countries to commit to taking coal off our system”.

Notes to Editors

The Government will consult early next year on when to close all coal-fired power stations. The consultation will set out proposals to close unabated coal-fired power stations by 2025 - and restrict use from 2023.

2 copy of GMB press release dated 14th October 2015

AS NINE POWER STATIONS CLOSE GMB WARN THAT UK GOVERNMENT AND NATIONAL GRID ARE FAR TOO COMPLACENT ABOUT RISKS OF WIDESPREAD POWER BLACKOUTS

The Government secret plans called “Operation Black Start” to cope in the event of widespread power blackouts will not be much help says GMB

GMB, the union for energy workers, is very concerned that the UK Government and National Grid are far too complacent over an energy crunch if there is a very cold winter when existing power stations are closed in 2016.

At the end of 2014 installed capacity (all electricity) was 80.6 GW. This includes 10.2GW of wind capacity.

National Grid states that 7.4GW of capacity is likely to close by 2016. The stations are listed below.

Plant

Capacity (MW)

Longannet - coal

2260

Eggborough - coal

1940

Ferrybridge - coal

980

Littlebrook - oil

800

Wylfa - nuclear

450

Ironbridge- gas /biomass

385

Deeside - gas

260

Barry - gas

235

Roosecote-  gas

99

   

Peak demand (the amount needed on a cold, dark winter’s day) is about 60GW. After the nine stations close this will leave 73.2GW of installed electricity capacity.

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for energy said “If peak demand were to co-incide with a time the wind is not blowing the UK will have just 63GW of reliable, easily-dispatchable power.

No coal stations will be built because of environmental standards, the new nuclear programme is delayed and the Government is failing to get more gas-fired power stations built.

The Government has stated that interconnectors, renewables and demand-side response can deal with any shortfall. However the first two cannot be relied upon at a time of system stress and demand-side is unlikely to cover a major shortfall.

Breakdown or outages at existing stations could lead to a major shortfall and widespread power blackouts. No Government can rule out breakdown or outages at existing stations.

At a time when 7.4GW is likely to come off at nine stations only one station is likely to be built in the coming year (Carrington, 900MW gas-fired station) that can provide solid, reliable power. The other major new build station – Trafford, c. 2GW – has stated there are major financing issues.

Government should direct National Grid to alter its approach to incentives in the capacity market to deliver enough reliable electricity supplies to avoid blackout.

Government and National Grid are far too complacent. The Government secret plans called Operation Black Start”.” to cope in the event of widespread power blackouts will not be much help.”

End

 

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