The Lights Are Going Out Because of Europe
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.