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The Lights Are Going Out Because of Europe

EU rule kept half a million homes in the dark - Times Online

Blackouts that plunged 500,000 homes into darkness last month were compounded by European environmental restrictions over the use of coal and oil-fired power stations, The Times has learnt.

... industry sources say that a key factor was the European Union’s Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD), which sets strict limits on the number of hours that some of Britain’s largest and most heavily polluting coal and oil-fired power stations can operate before they have to close in 2015. The time is measured in “stack hours” — the length of time that chimney stacks, rather than individual generation units, are in use...
The problem has been made worse because it affects coal and oil-fired stations, two of the most flexible sources of power generation. While nuclear plants need plenty of time to boost their power output, operational oil and coal-fired stations can be fired up quickly to generate more energy.

For power stations that have more than one burner, this has created a clear economic incentive for plants to be switched off unless they are being operated at full capacity, or until wholesale power prices increase enough for them to be economically viable to be turned back on.

Power industry executives said that the rules had contributed to mounting instability on the network because increasing numbers of power stations were not being run at any one time, reducing the margin of spare capacity and the ability of the National Grid to boost supply rapidly at times of crisis.

Yet again the insane micromanagement of our lives in the name of Greenery by the EU has catastrophic affects.


I'd dispute the statement that oil and coal powered stations can be turned on quickly to react to changing demand. The ketles still need time to come to the boil. The best sort of stations for that are gas turbines, which of course are hellishly expensive.

You're also ignoring the big elephant in the room. The chance of those stations being replaced by 2015 is pretty slim.. So when they close what do we do? End up relying on nuclear generated power from just across the channel? I'd imagine the thought of a euro-sceptic Britain being held to ransom by les Crapauds has the eu-apparat grinning from ear to ear.

hmmm... "stack hours", eh? Any chance those chimneys can be re-routed right up the collective arse of Brussels?

Maybe you can give the stacks a bit of a nudge and tilt, and use them as cannon - the old Big Bertha railroad-gun of WWI - onto Bruxxlsles.

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