The UK government has announced that every coal-fired power station will be shut down by 2025, roughly 10 years from now. The move is ostensibly about reducing carbon emissions. Amber Rudd, the country’s energy secretary, said that “we need to build a new energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century… this step will make us one of the first developed countries to commit to taking coal off our system.”
While the government’s press release includes some very punchy phrases about “energy security,” “hardworking families,” and “legacy of underinvestment,” the document is very short on actual details. It says that coal power stations will be restricted by 2023 and then completely phased out by 2025… but it doesn’t say what they will be replaced by.
Coal currently provides around 30 percent of the UK’s electricity, with natural gas (40 percent), nuclear (17 percent), wind, and hydro making up the rest of our power mix. The Tory government’s announcement isn’t exactly groundbreaking; coal has been on the way out for a long time. Back in 1990, coal provided a massive 67 percent of our power, and the previous UK government had already agreed to mostly phase out coal power stations by 2025.
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