January 9, 2018 Read More →

U.K. Details Plans For 2025 End To Coal Generation

The Guardian:

One of the UK’s eight remaining coal power stations is expected to cease generating electricity this year, the government has said as it laid out new rules that will force all the plants to close by 2025. The coal phase-out is one of the Conservative party’s flagship green policies, and thelong-awaited implementation plan comes ahead of a speech by Theresa May on the environment [this] week.

While three plants shut in 2016, and most are expected to halt operations by 2022, the last ones standing will be forced to close in October 2025 because of new pollution standards. However, the plan reveals the sector will continue to be propped up by hundreds of millions of pounds in backup power subsidies for several years, paid through consumer energy bills.

Experts said allowing coal operators to continue receiving capacity market subsidies had thrown the sector an unnecessary lifeline. Dr. Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, a UK-based thinktank, said: “While delivering on the top line of a 2025 closure, the government’s decision to allow coal plants to compete in the capacity market on equal footing until then looks like something of a missed opportunity.”

Ministers will also retain emergency powers to suspend the phase-out in the case of an emergency shortfall in electricity supplies. But officials said it was unlikely those powers would be called on, because the gap created by the coal plants’ closure would probably be filled by old gas power stations staying open longer.

The government rejected calls by campaigners and industry groups for the deadline of 2025 to be brought forward, citing cost and energy security grounds. It also rebuffed suggestions of a gradual phase-out before 2025, arguing coal use was low enough to make that unnecessary.

Coal’s fall has been swift and dramatic, with power generation from the polluting fuel plunging by more than 80% since 2012.

More: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jan/05/uk-coal-fired-power-plants-close-2025

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