Graph of the day: gas power plant load factors in the UK

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In 2008 Britain’s gas power plants had load factors averaging 71%, but by 2012 this had dropped to 30.4% (source). This is a rather stark change, and so far almost totally unreported by environment journalists.

gasLF

Here however is what has happened to the average load factor of Britain’s coal power plants:

coalLF

We are therefore under-utilizing gas power plants, while burning more and more coal. Is this a reflection of efficient climate policy?

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2 thoughts on “Graph of the day: gas power plant load factors in the UK

    jmdesp said:
    February 17, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Do you have the data on how much the gas and coal price changed with regard to 2008 ? And, beyond just the price, UK is producing less gas : http://www.eia.gov/countries/country-data.cfm?fips=UK&trk=m#coal

    Also, the merit order and network priority of renewable means solar and wind tend to replace gas before coal, as long as coal is able to follow load. However this should have contributed to reducing the spot price, which as far as I know, didn’t happen at all.

      Robert Wilson responded:
      February 17, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      There are multiple reasons for the decline: coal being cheaper, increased nuclear utilization, and increased wind energy.

      I don’t have the marginal costs of gas and coal from 2008-2012. But if you look up the Power section (excel spreadsheet) in the link below, table B2.1 will give sources which should have data on marginal prices after 2008.

      http://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/2013-progress-report/

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