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UK grid lights up coal-fired power stations amid energy crisis


Britain’s National Grid has announced it is switching on two reserve coal-fired power stations as a wintry snap and lack of wind leaves the country facing blackouts amid a general energy crisis.

“We have issued a notification to heat up two emergency coal units in the winter,” the grid said in a statement posted on social media, expressing hope that the measure “should give the public confidence in Monday’s energy supply”.

“This notification is not a confirmation that these units will be used on Monday, but that they will be available for ESO [Electricity System Operator]if necessary,” they added.

Much of Britain’s fossil fuel-fired domestic generation capacity, and in particular its coal-fired domestic generation capacity, has been significantly eroded in recent years.

The nominally Conservative government is pursuing a Net Zero green program that emphasizes so-called renewables such as wind and importing energy from mainland Europe – which does not count towards national emissions targets of carbon – via undersea interconnectors, but with the wind not blowing reliably and continental nations enduring their own energy problems Britain is in a precarious position.

Countries like Germany have not destroyed as many already mothballed coal plants as Britain, and so may prove better off if the energy crisis worsens, despite heavy reliance on Russian gas, because they have already been able to supply reserve coal-fired power stations in large numbers and have also not let their gas storage capacity wither away.

“BBC Radio 4 and the Grid need to talk about using more old coal-fired power stations because it’s cold with little wind. Why weren’t they interested in this before when some of us warned them it might happen? » asked Sir John Redwood, a former Conservative MP who served in the governments of Sir John Major and the late Margaret Thatcher.

“We shouldn’t worry about keeping the lights on, [not] relying on imports,” he added, aware that the country has few spare coal-fired power plants left to call on if the ones the grid has warmed up prove insufficient for the task ahead of them.

Despite all this, the Rishi Sunak administration’s decision to finally approve Britain’s first new coal mine in decades – one that will be geared towards producing high-quality coke used for steelmaking – is under attack. ferociously by green agenda zealots within his own party and, ironically, Labour, which built much of its now tarnished reputation within the working class on fighting mine closures in the 20th century, but who now promises to see that this new one is killed.

Other enemies of this modest step towards energy independence include failed US presidential candidate John Kerry, who is now Joe Biden’s climate envoy, who calls for “a better upload on exactly what the implications will be. emissions” compared to the British mine. .

Meanwhile, communist China has commissioned 226 coal-fired power plants in the past five years alone.

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