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Deadline for Coal Power

Posted in Industry News on Jul 08, 2021.

Is this the end of coal burning in the UK?

Last week, Energy and Climate Change Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan made the announcement that they are moving the deadline to phase out coal from the UK’s energy mix forward by an entire year, to October 2024. This move will see an end to coal-fired electricity generation. However, it will not see an end to coal be burned for other uses.

The decision to move the date forward comes ahead of the COP26 summit, which is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, due to take place in Glasgow later this year. Where world leaders come together to discuss the best ways to tackle climate change.

Although burning coal only accounts for around 1.8% of the country's electricity mix (in 2020), it is still one of the most carbon intensive fossil fuels and a major contributor to poor air quality and air pollution. This figure is also 40% lower than a decade ago and we are excited to see it reduce even more.

The reason for bringing the deadline forward is not only due to the large number of renewable energy sources currently used in the UK such as wind power, bioenergy and solar, but also as a way for the UK to show its leadership and commitment to driving down emissions and encouraging other world leaders to follow suit and accelerate their efforts too.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
“Coal powered the industrial revolution 200 years ago, but now is the time for radical action to completely eliminate this dirty fuel from our energy system.”

“Today we’re sending a clear signal around the world that the UK is leading the way in consigning coal power to the history books and that we’re serious about decarbonising our power system so we can meet our ambitious, world-leading climate targets.”

“The UK’s net zero future will be powered by renewables, and it is this technology that will drive the green industrial revolution and create new jobs across the country.”

By stopping its use in electricity generation, the UK can make sure it plays a critical role in limiting global temperature rise, which is one of the government’s key aims of its COP26 presidency.

Unfortunately, this good news doesn’t mean the end of coal burning in the UK. Whilst this decision will see the end to coal being used for the generation of electricity, it will still be used as a fuel for other uses, such as the steel industry.