Are coal plants really our best option for backup power?

Three coal-fired power stations are on standby as a system designed to prevent blackouts goes live for the first time.

System operator National Grid said it expected power supply margins to be “narrower than normal” on Monday night as freezing temperatures hit much of the UK.
However, it added that “people should not worry” and that the three plants, including one in West Burton, Lincolnshire, and two at the Drax Group plant in North Yorkshire, may not be necessary.

The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), which rewards people for cutting back on energy-intensive products during peak hours, will run for one hour starting at 5 p.m.

Several companies, including British Gas, Octopus Energy, and E. Among other things, ON and OVO agreed to meet with customers in Scotland, England, and Wales to reduce energy consumption.

Electricity system operator (ESO) reported a demand of more than 600 megawatts at 2:30pm on Sunday.
ESO  confirmed it needs 323 megawatts between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and 336 megawatts between 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Monday.
A spokesman for National Grid ESO said, “Our forecast is that power supply margins will be tighter than usual on Monday evening.”
“We have instructed coal-fired power stations to be available to increase power supply tomorrow evening if necessary.
“We will also activate the real-time demand flexibility service tomorrow from 17:00 to 18:00.” This does not mean that the power supplies are at risk, and people should not worry.

“These are precautionary measures to maintain the buffer of free power.” We need DFS will operate until March and is the first system of its kind where households have to pay for the use of utilities such as dishwashers or washing machines outside peak hours.
Earlier this year, ESO conducted a successful trial with Octopus Energia. Since then, it has worked with providers, aggregators, and consumer groups to make the system available nationally.

Providers can join the service, in which case consumers who want to use electricity flexibly and benefit from it can do so directly through their service provider.

Approved suppliers include Octopus Energy, Scottish (UK) Gas, E.ON Next, Shell, Energy Retail, and 20 others.
Large companies are also paid to reduce demand by switching to energy efficiency or switching to batteries or generators during peak hours.

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