Since writing this blog, positively, coal has nearly disappeared from the UK energy mix.
A Case Study of Ratcliffe-on-Soar
Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station stands as a testament to the significance of coal in the UK’s energy landscape. Its Unit 1 was the first 500MW unit to clock over a quarter of a million hours, equating to almost 30 years of uninterrupted generation. The power station was a beacon of reliable energy..
Despite its age, Ratcliffe-on-Soar, under the ownership of EON, is among the most efficient power stations in the UK. This feat has been achieved through consistent investments in technological advancements aimed at reducing its environmental impact. The plant has integrated a Flue Gas Desulphurisation system and a Boosted Over Fire Air system, which curtails the concentration of nitrogen oxides in flue gas.
Ratcliffe-on-Soar is the pioneer in the UK, having been the first power station to install Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. This innovative solution mitigates the emissions of nitrogen oxides by injecting ammonia directly into the flue gas, which then passes over a catalyst.
The investments have paid off, positioning Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in compliance with the Large Combustion Plant Directive. However, it is noteworthy that the plant still has the potential to emit approximately 9 million tonnes of CO2 annually, making it one of the most carbon-intensive power stations in Europe. As of now, the station operates at an estimated 39% thermal efficiency, in line with the EU average, generating sufficient power for roughly two million UK households.