The Differing Fortunes of Gas Power Plants in Britain And America

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To keep myself mildly occupied over breakfast or lunch I will be blogging here a bit more regularly, perhaps once a day for a while. Mostly this is just to tie up loose ends, ideas for columns I had that didn’t go anywhere, but where I had a graph or two finished that I can turn into a quick blog post. These things will probably be no more than a paragraph or two. A trend highlighted, a myth exposed.

So, here is the first. And an interesting one. The change in the capacity factors of gas power plants in Britain and America between 2008 and 2012.

In one country cheap shale gas has resulted in an increase in the capacity factors of gas power plants. In the other expensive gas, cheap coal and low – or more accurately non-existent – carbon prices have resulted in a massive reduction the capacity factors of gas power plants.

The graph below shows both just how much has changed with gas in America and Europe, but also just how difficult it is to predict the future. No-one would have predicted this a decade ago.

capFactors

 

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