Winter capacity market auctions are designed to procure back up generation to help the grid cope with demand peaks

Diesel plants made up just one per cent of the generation procured through last winter’s capacity market auction, the energy minister has told Parliament.

In a written answer, published last week, Richard Harrington said that in the 2016/17 winter capacity market auctions, just over 1 per cent of the total generation secured received its primary fuel from diesel.

Responding to a question tabled by Mary Creagh, chair of the House of Commons environmental audit select committee, Harrington informed Parliament that 702 MW and 724 MW of diesel units were secured in the 2016/17 T4 and early auctions respectively. And he said that only 55MW of diesel plants, equating to 0.55 per cent of capacity secured via the auction, were new diesel projects.

The government’s decision to allow diesel plants to compete for capacity market subsidies sparked critics on the grounds that the move would encourage a proliferation of heavily polluting generation.

Last winter’s auction was the first where generators were required to specify their primary fuel type. 

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