It would appear that Britain is simply importing coal power from abroad
Between May 17-31, Britain saw its first two-week period without domestic coal-fired power stations generating electricity since the 1880s.
However, modelling carried out by energy market data analyst EnAppSys shows that power generated from coal has been imported from abroad over the same period – with the most coming from the Netherlands.
EnAppSys says that high carbon taxes in Britain were the key reason why the UK’s electricity system has run without coal for the last two weeks – and it adds that further no-coal records could be broken should these taxes remain at current levels.
These higher carbon taxes do not, however, apply in neighbouring regions and over the initial two-week period of zero coal, Britain imported 50.9 GWh of power from coal-fired plants operating abroad.
Of this power, only a relatively low share of the modelled coal-originating imports came from France and Ireland (0.1 GWh and 0.9 GWh respectively), with France seeing a high share of power from nuclear plants and with Ireland seeing high levels of wind generation over the noted period.
Instead, the largest share of the modelled total was from the Netherlands, where coal-fired power stations continue to operate at a high level of activity as a result of only paying around half the carbon taxes paid within the UK.