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Ferrybridge C: Experts call for more clean energy as landmark UK coal-fired power station closes

The station near Knottingley in Yorkshire employed around 400 workers

Dean Kirby
Thursday 31 March 2016 20:27 BST
The Ferrybridge coal-fired power plant in Yorkshire closed after 50 years
The Ferrybridge coal-fired power plant in Yorkshire closed after 50 years (Getty)

Experts have played down fears of the lights going out in Britain as another landmark coal-fired power station closed its doors.

The Ferrybridge C station employed more than 800 men at its peak in the 1970s and around 400 workers were still employed there until recently.

The fate of the plant, near Knottingley in Yorkshire, was announced by owners SSE in May last year and it last produced electricity on 23 March.

It follows the closure in December of Kellingley Colliery, Britain’s last deep-coal mine, just a few miles down the road.

Longannet coal plant in Scotland also ceased operations last week as costs and a shift to cleaner energy make ageing coal power stations unprofitable.

Three out of four units at Fiddlers Ferry power station, Cheshire, were expected to shut down, but are now staying on-line after securing a one-year contract from National Grid.

Eggborough power station in East Yorkshire, was also set to close, but has secured a contract with National Grid to provide extra capacity from two of its four units.

Rugeley coal plant in Staffordshire is expected to shut down in early summer, meaning significant amounts of capacity will be lost.

Michael Grubb, professor of energy and climate change police at University College London, said: “The system has the greatest risk of supply stress this winter.

“I don’t think the lights will go out for any domestic customers, but there are other things that might have to be done.”

Greenpeace UK chief scientist Dr Doug Parr said: “The UK Government has taken the right approach by announcing a coal phase-out, but they forgot about the other half of the job.

“What Britain badly needs are clear, robust policies to drive more investment in clean energy and power-saving technologies.”

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