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Amber Rudd to say all UK coal-fired power stations will close by 2025

The UK is legally bound to cut its carbon dioxide emissions to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Hazel Sheffield
Wednesday 18 November 2015 09:25 GMT
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The Government's energy policy Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd is to signal the end of polluting coal-fired power stations in the UK, but says it is "imperative" that new gas plants are built
The Government's energy policy Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd is to signal the end of polluting coal-fired power stations in the UK, but says it is "imperative" that new gas plants are built (PA)

The UK's coal-fired power stations are set to close by 2025, the Government has confirmed, with plans to restrict their use by 2023.

“It cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting, carbon intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stations,” Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd will say in a speech at the Institution of Civil Engineers, according to embargoed excerpts.

The UK still relies on coal-fired power for a third of its electricity. That will have to change as some of the older plants are forced to shut down from age and as they fall foul of EU standards for the environment.

Lower-carbon gas and the new nuclear power plants, such as the Hinkley plant that is being built with Chinese investments, are expected to plug the gap.

The UK is legally bound to cut its carbon dioxide emissions to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050. Gas plants emit half as much carbon dioxide per megawatt produced as coal plants.

“One of the greatest and most cost-effective contributions we can make toemission reductions in electricity is by replacing coal fired power stations with gas,” Rudd will say. It is not yet known whether the Government will announce new plants.

Not all environmental organisations reacted positively to the news. Simon Bullock from Friends of the Earth told the BBC: "Switching from coal to gas is like an alcoholic switching from two bottles of whisky a day to two bottles of port."

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