Editorial January 2010
Written by Hugh Sharman   
Tuesday, 12 January 2010

In November, the Government published a draft "Overarching policy statement on energy policy[1]" for consultation.

On page 16/98, under the heading “replacement needs” we read the following

3.3.5 How future supplies will need to be maintained will be affected by the fact that there will be significant closure of existing generating capacity over the coming years, particularly to 2020, as a result of tightening environmental regulation and aging power stations.

3.3.6 The power station closures over the next decade are driven in large part by the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD). This regulates emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxides. Generating companies who chose to “opt out” coal and oil power stations (amounting to about 12 GW) under the terms of the Directive are only able to operate for a maximum of 20,000 hours over the period 2008-2015 and will have to close by the end of 2015. In addition, based on their published lifetimes, about 10 GW of nuclear power stations are scheduled to close over the next 2 decades.

3.3.7 Further power station closures will be driven by the Industrial Emissions (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) - IPPC Directive (IED) which will replace the regulatory framework established by the LCPD. This new Directive establishes stricter limits on the emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxide. The Directive is expected to affect the remaining coal power stations as well as gas-fired power stations built before 2002. The closed facilities will need to be replaced if a level of security of supply comparable to today is to be maintained as we make the transition to a low carbon economy.

The highlights are by this editor

So what happens when IPPC legislation bites on 31st Dec 2015 is even scarier than the known "known" closure of the 12 GW of sulfur non-compliant CEGB era plants.

We ask whether the chief and fixable problem is NETA/BETTA which rewards the generation industry for NOT investing in anything except gas power stations - and makes investment in gas storage (or any other sort of storage!!) an unacceptably high risk?  Without root and branch reform of the energy trading system, the market is helpless to respond.

There is a deafening silence on this matter which Duncan Wilson responds as follows (link)

For all of you who have read down this far, Dimwatt will be a campaigning web site dedicated primarily to keeping the lights on.  If this requires that whoever it is that is so unfortunate as to win the forthcoming election must sue at the EU for a derogation on plant closures, so be it.

We welcome the goodwill and support of all who agree with this broad objective.

The premature closure of Ignalina at the end of December 2009 is an awful lesson for the UK to learn from.






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