The UK has resorted to restarting a coal-fired power plant to meet demand for air conditioning in the face of a blistering heatwave that has seen Britons’ collective stiff upper lips droop in the heat. .Temperatures in Blighty broke 30C this weekend for the first time this year, pushing up demand for power as households and businesses switch on air conditioners. On Monday, the National Weather Service put out both heat and storm warnings covering much of the country.. UK heatwaveEngland restarted coal fired power in face of heatwave. .To the chagrin of the country’s environmental activists, National Grid, the country’s electric system operator, authorized the restart of the Ratcliffe on Soar power station in Nottinghamshire, ending a 46-day run where coal was NOT used to generate electricity..“It is a sign of failure that the National Grid is turning to one of the most polluting forms of power generation to deal with a summer heatwave that we know has been made worse because of climate change,” said Ami McCarthy, Greenpeace UK’s political campaigner..Ironically, the biggest culprit is unreliable solar panels that become less efficient in extreme heat that actually hinder the capacity of the panels to collect energy. Good thing; the plant had been scheduled to close in March of this year but was extended for two year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reduced natural gas supplies. .Although more liberal-minded news outlets like The Guardian blamed maintenance at nuclear plants in Scotland and inter-tie maintenance on an undersea cable from Norway, the right-leaning Telegraph blamed it squarely on the country’s headlong rush to renewables, including wind and solar that account for as much as 40% of the country’s electricity supply..On Sunday, it ran an editorial calling Britain’s “green energy disaster” an awful warning to Americans. “Development of solar power projects continues to drive bulk of the uplift,” in electricity prices, it wrote..Thats because during a heat wave, higher temperatures above 25°C hinder the panels’ ability to convert sunlight into electricity. The panels themselves can reach temperatures around 66°C (150°F) or even higher under direct sunlight. .It all comes down to the Law of Thermodynamics. When temperatures soar, those electrons can bounce around too much and reduce voltage, or the amount of electricity generated..According to San Diego-based CED Greentech, the largest solar power provider in the US, every degree above 25°C reduces overall efficiency by half a percentage point or as much as 25% under extremes..“As the temperature of the solar panel increases, its output current increases exponentially, while the voltage output is reduced linearly. In fact, the voltage reduction is so predictable, that it can be used to accurately measure temperature,” it said..According to the World Economic Forum, renewable energy could supply four-fifths of the world’s electricity by 2050. Solar power contributed about a third of the UK’s renewable energy supply in 2020. Sales of solar panels in the country have doubled after electricity prices rose 67% last year.