This week, to much green fanfare, the EU published a report on the 30 dirtiest coal-fired power stations in Europe.
The implication/ expectation/ demand from the EU is that these mega-polluters should be closed down and replaced by lovely cuddly renewable energy sources.
So I did a few quick calculations;
The contribution from the 9 power stations ‘named and shamed’ is 18,124 MW.
- A typical wind turbine produces a design rate of 3 MW.
- Typical capacity factor of a new turbine is 15%
- Effective contribution per turbine is therefore 0.45 MW
- To make up the shortfall from these power stations we’d need to install another 40,000 new turbines.
As an example, the London Array has 630 turbines and the Greater Gabbard 504.
Plus, of course, as wind turbines are unreliable we will also need to make sure we have sufficient back up power available, as I blogged about recently. This will either mean keeping these coal burners running on turndown, which is unlikely as they don’t respond quickly to changes in demand, or scrapping them and building a number of new and more efficient gas-fired power stations at further cost.
Whichever way you look at it, the future is bleak for the landscapes and seascapes of Britain under an EU-led energy policy.