Bleak outlook for coal as UK closes three plants

Intro

The UK has put the world another step closer to ridding itself of coal with the closure of three more polluting power stations. Last week, Longannet – Scotland’s last coal-fired power station – and Ferrybridge shut its doors. Today, Yorkshire based Eggborough follows suit, remaining available only for emergency back-up. Another station Fiddlers Ferry was also due to shutdown this week, but obtained an additional contract to keep some of its units open, while this spring Rugeley power plant in Staffordshire is expected to join the list of closures. Together, the three closures will save 20 million tonnes of CO2, take UK government closer to its target to phase out unabated coal use by 2025, and set an example for Europe’s other coal-hungry government’s to follow. With a growing appetite from renewables and increasing evidence to show that getting out of coal will protect lives, shield governments from an increasingly volatile coal market, and help them meet their emission reduction targets, there is little argument left for any country to continue investing in this dirtiest of energy sources.

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  • “Closure of these coal plants is both expected and necessary. The UK has plenty of options to cover the loss of coal-fired power through energy efficiency, renewables, interconnection with other countries and smart demand. This combination can deliver low-cost electricity reliably and quickly.” – Jonathan Gaventa, Director of E3G
  • “The replacement of coal by low carbon generation is a transition the power industry has been expecting for years. National Grid has many ways to preserve security of supply and it is virtually inconceivable that we are facing a situation that leads to loss of supply to any smaller consumers. The government’s challenge is to make the UK a more attractive place for energy investors so that consumers do not pay the additional costs required to keep the remaining coal generation any longer than is necessary.” – Simon Skillings, Senior Associate of E3G

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