For centuries, coal was the backbone of British energy production. But with clean energy alternatives becoming more affordable, the U.K. is already well on its way to phasing out the high-polluting power source in favor of renewables like wind and solar power.
In 2015, the government promised to close its remaining eight coal power plants by 2025. However, a new study of the proposed phase-out found that the country’s coal plants were likely to shutter by 2022 anyway—for economic reasons. This finding has many calling for an even shorter timeline to close down the coal plants.
The report found that reliance on coal power has been steadily declining since the mid-1990s, and closing the remaining plants would not have a major impact on the country’s energy supply. The plants’ energy capacity would be fulfilled by building new gas plants and investing in renewable power.
“Last year, coal accounted for just under a quarter of electricity generation and the eight stations that remain operational today represent around 15 percent of Great Britain’s total generating capacity,” reads the study.
The U.K. parliament has so far dedicated £730 million to support renewable sources. Most of the funding is likely to be used for building offshore wind farms.
As U.K. Energy Secretary Greg Clark puts it to the Guardian, “Taking unabated coal power out of our energy mix and replacing it with cleaner technology, such as gas, will significantly reduce emissions from the U.K.’s energy use.”
Via: The Guardian