It is expected that the UK is about to lose approximately 22GW of energy from ageing coal-fired power stations, and 8.8GW of energy from nuclear power stations by 2030, suggesting the country will be forced to rely on imports and costly emergency interventions to prevent blackouts. This includes the Ironbridge and Ferrybridge Power Stations, both of which have supplied the energy to the UK for many decades (See tables below for a full list of power stations and their planned closures). Therefore, there needs to be alternative proposals to replace this energy in order to meet the demands.
The UK Climate Change Act has set a legally binding target of reducing the UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, compared to 1990 baseline levels, by 2050 (DECC, 2008). Specifically, within the electricity sector, the target for renewable electricity is equally ambitious with an aim of 30% of all electricity generation to be from renewable sources (DECC, 2009). The UK electricity system is made up of companies performing different functions, and the National Grid acts as the system operator with responsibility for balancing power supply and demand.
Electricity generation contributes approximately 30% of UK carbon dioxide emissions, predominantly due to the use of fossil fuels. Of the fuel used to generate electricity, two thirds are lost in generation and another 9% in transmission and distribution – a problem which has to be dealt with, sooner rather than later. Table1: A list of coal-fired power stations and their planned closures Table2: A list of nuclear power stations and their planned closures The last working Magnox nuclear reactor in the world was shut down earlier this year at Wylfa on Anglesey after beginning operation in 1971.
Did you know: It will take 90 years to fully decommission the Wylfa Nuclear power station! So why on earth would we go ahead with Hinkley point C Nuclear station? I believe that reducing the amount of energy we use and more importantly the energy we waste is where the efforts should be made and then alternate sources of energy have a chance of meeting the overall demand. Energy Demand Reduction is the official term and should be the order of the day…