Good News that Ferrybridge will close

There was some very good news announced by SEE, the energy provider, today. It will close Ferrybridge, which is a coal burning power station in West Yorkshire, and re-open a  gas burning power station some 50 miles away.

The environmental gain is enormous. There will be significant savings in carbon dioxide emissions ( at least 50% fewer emissions per unit of electricity produced) and far few particulates and nitrous oxide filling the atmosphere.

The local member of Parliament, Yvette Cooper, says that this is dreadful news as 172 jobs will be lost but she ignores the bigger picture.  In truth, all coal burning power stations should have been closed years ago. It is sad that people will lose their jobs but those jobs not only produced electricity but as a by product produced ill health and contributed to global warming to a much greater extent than natural gas burning power stations.

Ferrybridge is a very large installation and SEE will eventually turn it into another “multi fuel” power station. That process will provide employment and when the new power station is operating about 45 new jobs.

It is said that coal burning power stations produce energy at cheaper prices than other forms of electricity production. That is simply a superficial analysis of the position. If you look at the costs of cheap coal based electricity as a whole and take into account the health and climate change costs, coal burning power stations are very expensive for society as a whole.

3 Responses

  1. Unit C Ferry bridge currently produces either 1000 or 2000 mega watts (depending on which newspaper you read).

    The new multi-fuel replacement unit will produce 68 mega watts of electricity.

    So, the reality is that the proposed multi-fuel unit is just a waste burning site and not a power station.

    Also, I could not find any reference to SSE re-opening a gas fired power station.

  2. In a post manufacturing paradigm we don’t need much more power, however Sellafield now has three new reactor site planning permissions.

    What do you know about this Rob.

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