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Published July 21, 2021
The British government has brought forward the deadline to end coal-fired electricity generation by a year to 2024.
The move is part of the UK government’s commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The UK will cease using coal to generate electricity from 1 October 2024.
The move comes ahead of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) summit which the UK will host in Glasgow this November. The UK is calling on all nations to accelerate the phase out of coal power.
“The UK system has been reducing its carbon emissions as a whole for some time now,” said Jeremy Nicholson, Alfa Energy’s corporate affairs officer.
“Removing the last two coal fired power stations isn’t just symbolic, it really will reduce the carbon footprint of the flexible part of our generation. It’s a trend that some other countries are following, particularly in Europe. But the UK has been ahead of pack. This is significant step for country that not long ago was getting most of its electricity from coal and had been at the vanguard of the industrial revolution.”
The UK government will introduce legislation to introduce the new deadline. Coal accounted for only 1.8% of the UK’s electricity mix in 2020, compared with 40% almost decade ago. The government confirmed in 2017 that it would regulate the closure of unabated coal power generation units by 1 October 2025.
In March 2021, coal-fired power plants did not participate in the four-year ahead Capacity Market auction, which secures the electricity capacity needed to cope with peaks in demand in 2024 to 2025.