Eggborough's failure to get capacity market contract proved final straw for power station Fri 2 Feb 2018 05.25 EST Last modified on Fri 2 Feb 2018 09.13 EST A major coal power station in Yorkshire will close at the end of September after it failed to secure a government subsidy to provide backup power next winter. Losing out on a capacity market contract sounded the death knell for Eggborough, which supplies power to 2m homes and employs around 170 people, about 130 of whom are expected to be laid off. Around 40 will be kept on for decommissioning and demolition. "Already on the ropes, Eggborough missing out on a capacity market contract was the final straw for this once-great power station," said Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the ECIU thinktank. The plant is run by Czech power firm EPH, which bought two of British Gas owner Centrica's large gas plants last year, and also owns an old power coal plant in Northumberland which it is converting to burn wood.
Without a crew on board, a cargo ship could run on 10 to 15 percent less fuel and cut its carbon emissions by a similar percentage, according to Oskar Levander, vice president for innovation at Rolls Royce, which is developing autonomous ships with researchers at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. "The primary benefits of remote and autonomous vessels will be improved efficiency and safety," Levander told the blog Climate Home. Driverless cargo ships, by contrast, would be responsible mostly for steaming across the ocean, docking, loading or unloading cargo, then steaming on to the next port. And Rolls Royce says its researchers are perfecting the technologies needed to remotely steer ships through the high seas.
The key is combining into a single system two well-known technologies: coal gasification and fuel cells. The heat leads to chemical reactions that release gases from the coal particles -- mainly carbon monoxide and hydrogen, both of which can produce electricity in a solid oxide fuel cell. In the fuel cell, a membrane separates the carbon monoxide and hydrogen from the oxygen, promoting an electrochemical reaction that generates electricity without burning the fuel. In comparison, the proposed combined gasification and fuel cell system could achieve efficiencies as high as 55 to 60 percent, Ong says, according to the simulations.