Dash for Gas

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The Dash for Gas was the 1990s shift by the newly privatized electric companies in the United Kingdom towards generation of electricity using natural gas. Gas consumption peaked in 2001 and has been in decline since 2010.

UK gas production, consumption, and net exports to 2015

The key reasons for this shift were: (a) political: The privatization of the UK electricity industry in 1990; the regulatory change that allowed gas to be used as a fuel for power generation [Citation needed]; (b) economic: the high interest rates of the time, which favoured gas turbine power stations, which were quick to build, over coal and nuclear power stations, which were larger but slower to build; the decline in wholesale gas prices; the desire by the regional electricity companies to diversify their sources of electricity supply and establish a foothold in the profitable generation market; (c) technical: advances in electricity generation technology (specifically combined cycle gas turbine generators (CCGT) with higher relative efficiencies and lower capital costs. An underpinning factor in the dash for gas was the recent development of North Sea gas.

In 1990, gas turbine power stations made up 5% of the UK's generating capacity. By 2002, the new CCGT power stations made up 28% UK generating capacity; gas turbines accounted for a further 2%. It is estimated the Dash for Gas cost £11bn.[1]

Gas-fired power stations with more than 30 MW installed capacity commissioned between 1990 and 2002 are listed below.[2]

Year of commission or year generation began Power Station Name Installed capacity, MW Location (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, or English region) Date of mothballing/ closure
1991 Roosecote Power Station 229 (before being mothballed in March 2012 pending demolition by spring 2015)[3] North West England 2012
1992 Teesside Power Station 1875[4] (45 MW from OCGT after mothballing most of the power station in 2011 [5]) North East England 2011 (partial - mothballed)
1993 Glanford Brigg Power Station 260 Yorkshire and the Humber
1993 Killingholme B power station 900 Yorkshire and the Humber
1993 Peterborough Power Station 405 East of England
1993 Rye House Power Station 715 East of England
1993 Corby Power Station 401 East Midlands
1994 Killingholme A power station 665 Yorkshire and the Humber
1994 Keadby Power Station 749 Yorkshire and the Humber
1994 Barking Power Station 1000 London
1994 Derwent Power Station 228 East Midlands
1994 Deeside Power Station 500 Wales
1994 Knapton Power Station 40 Yorkshire and the Humber
1995 Charterhouse St Power Station 31 London
1995 Fellside Power Station 180 North West England
1995 Little Barford Power Station 665 East of England
1995 Medway Power Station 688 South East England
1996 Connah's Quay Power Station 1380 Wales
1996 South Humber Bank Power Station 1285 Yorkshire and the Humber
1996 Kings Lynn Power Station 340 East of England
1998 Barry Power Station 230 Wales
1998 Didcot B Power Station 1430 South East England
1998 Rocksavage Power Station 810 North West England
1998 Thornhill Power Station 50 Yorkshire and the Humber
1998 Seabank 1 Power Station 812 South West England
1999 Cottam Development Centre 390 East Midlands
1999 Sutton Bridge Power Station 819 East Midlands
1999 Enfield Power Station 408 London
1999 Sandbach Power Station 50 North West England
2000 Damhead Creek Power Station 800 South East England
2000 Salt End Power Station 1200 Yorkshire and the Humber
2000 Seabank 2 Power Station 410 South West England
2000 Shoreham Power Station 400 South East England
2000 Fife Power Station 123 (before closed in March 2011) Scotland 2011
2001 Coryton Power Station 753 East of England
2001 Great Yarmouth Power Station 420 East of England
2001 Shotton Power Station 45 Wales
2002 Baglan Bay Power Station 510 Wales
2002 Castleford Power Station 56 Yorkshire and the Humber


  1. ^ Estimate from Climate Change Capital analysis, quoted in 'Unlocking investment to deliver Britain’s low carbon future: report by the Green Investment Bank Commission. June 2010
  2. ^ Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics; Table 5.11: Power stations in the United Kingdom, May 2011
  3. ^ http://www.centricaenergy.com/news-roosecote-demolition
  4. ^ Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics; Table 5.11: Power stations in the United Kingdom, May 2004
  5. ^ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/business/business-news/around-100-jobs-jeopardy-teesside-4438128

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