Britain’s last coal power plants to close by 2025
The Guardian, November 9, 2016
The last coal power station in Britain will be forced to close in 2025, the government said as it laid out its plan to phase-out the polluting fossil fuel.
Ministers promised last year that the UK would close coal power within a decade and replace it with gas and other sources to meet its climate change commitments.
But in a delayed consultation on the phase-out, published on Wednesday, officials admitted that the last coal power station was likely to shutter in 2022 even without government intervention, prompting calls from campaigners to bring forward the cut-off year.
Greg Clark, the energy secretary, said the move sent a clear signal to the world that the UK was a good place to invest in clean energy. “Taking unabated coal power out of our energy mix and replacing it with cleaner technology, such as gas, will significantly reduce emissions from the UK’s energy use,” he said.
Officials expect that because air pollution and climate change measures are making coal uneconomic, the most likely scenario is that all coal power plants will close by 2022. But they also said that if the price of coal was low it was conceivable they would not close until 2030. They said this uncertainty showed the need for intervention.