Tory group argues for early end to coal

Coal-fired power stations should be phased out by at least 2023, according to a liberal Conservative think tank.

Bright Blue, which in April launched a green conservatism movement led by former energy and climate change minister Greg Barker, has published research showing the government could phase out all of the UK’s remaining coal-fired power stations much earlier than currently planned without harming security of supply.

The report follows concerns that the closure of coal-fired power stations by 2025, which was announced by energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd in November, would increase the risk of energy shortages.

Bright Blue commissioned Aurora Energy Research to investigate energy security according to varying predictions for future energy capacity. Researchers looked at the impact of renewables, nuclear and interconnection capacity rising in line with expectations, as well as exceeding and underperforming them.

They found that security of supply would not be undermined under any of the three scenarios, and that each would provide plenty of time to commission new gas-fired capacity.  

According to the think-tank's report, the simplest way to implement the phase-out ...

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