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United Kingdom to end 140 years of coal power by 2025

United Kingdom to end 140 years of coal power by 2025

The government will introduce an emissions limit on all coal power plants in the United Kingdom in a bid to eradicate unabated use of the fuel in the power system from 2025.

To date, there are 8 remaining coal power stations in the United Kingdom providing approximately 14 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity.

Having assessed almost 6,000 responses to a consultation as to how this could be achieved, the government expects the 6GW of coal-fired power capacity now in operation to fall to just 1.5GW by 2025 as a result of these measures.

Coal power stations that do not fit abatement technologies will have to close on 1 October 2025 - but the government will legislate to allow them to operate in emergencies. "Not only are other countries imposing more ambitious sunset dates, we are concerned that the door is left wide open for investments in new, long-term gas capacity, locking us into another generation of fossil fuel power", he said.

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An accompanying Impact Assessment from the government indicates the measures announced today will see the vast majority of coal power withdrawn from the power grid by the early 2020s, with just 1.3GW of unabated capacity likely to be still running by the 2025 deadline. The government already estimates that all these power plants are unprofitable, not only due to carbon taxes but also due to low gas prices.

Unabated coal plant operators will therefore be unable to bid into the capacity market auctions for delivery in winter 2025.

Dr. Jonathan Marshall, Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit commented: "The coal phase-out will be welcomed by Britain's global partners on climate change, and provides a riposte to administrations in the United States and Australia that are desperately trying to keep their coal industries alive against market realities".


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