The UK will close all its unabated coal-fired power plants by 2023, The Times reported on Tuesday, without saying where it got the information.
The newspaper reported that under proposals that could be announced ahead of the December UN climate summit, the UK’s ten remaining coal plants would be forced to convert to alternative fuels, fit CCS equipment or shut.
Coal-fired power provided around 30% of Britain’s electricity last year but many of its ageing facilities had been due to close over the next decade as they reach the end of their operating lives and amid costs from the EU ETS, the UK’s carbon price floor and pollution standards under the Large Combustion Plant Directive.
UK law already prevents the building of new unabated coal plants and its modelling had indicated that such sources could make up around 1% of generation by 2025, the middle of several scenarios.
An accelerated coal phase-out in favour of cleaner gas or renewable sources is likely to dampen demand for EU carbon allowances.
The ruling Conservatives, who are currently holding their annual party conference, had been under fire from climate campaigners for drastic cuts to renewable power subsidies such as onshore wind and solar amid their ongoing push to develop shale gas.
The opposition Labour party’s shadow energy and climate change minister Lisa Nandy on Monday wrote an op-ed decrying the Tory government’s policy silence ahead of the Paris climate summit.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org