09 Mar 2023

UK Calls on Reserve Coal Power as Supply Tightens

09 Mar 2023  by   

National Grid ESO, serving the grid of Great Britain, has used reserve coal power units for the first time this winter during expected supply shortages.

Two coal units at EDF’s West Burton coal plant were synchronised to the UK power grid on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by EDF.

The UK’s energy systems operator, National Grid ESO, has called on reserve coal power units to tackle expected electricity supply shortages. This comes despite the country’s pledge to phase out coal by 2024, ahead of the country’s coldest night of the year so far.

A statement from National Grid ESO said on Tuesday that two coal units at EDF’s West Burton coal plant had been synchronised to the UK power grid.

The move follows government concerns last year about electricity shortages from gas power plants, after Russia cut gas supplies to much of Europe. The energy grid operator warned in October last year that households could experience a series of three-hour power cuts in winter as a worst-case scenario if cold weather persisted and new gas supplies were not secured successfully.


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