UK coal reserves sufficient for next six years

UK power stations already have enough stock-piled coal to last until 2025 when all remaining coal plants are due to close, research by Friends of the Earth (FoE) has revealed.

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After analysing official government data, FoE found that the forecast amount of electricity to be generated from coal between 2020 and 2025 has fallen by over 90% since the previous year’s figures.

This will mean that the UK has more than enough coal reserves to generate this electricity during that time, according to the researchers.

The findings come as communities secretary James Brokenshire considers planning permission for an opencast mine at Druridge Bay, Northumberland.

“Power stations already have enough stock-piled coal to last until they close down in 2025, so giving new climate-wrecking coal mines the green light would be ludicrous," FoE campaigner, Tony Bosworth, said.

“Brokenshire must reject the Druridge Bay planning application and protect this wildlife-rich, beauty spot from devastation."

The opencast mine was originally recommended for approval by a planning inspector in November 2017 on the basis that there was a "window" for using the coal for power generation before 2025.

Brokenshire’s predecessor Sajid Javid refused this in March 2018 due to the mines’ "substantial impact on climate change", but this was overruled in November by the High Court.

It was revealed last week that the UK had gone seven days without using coal generation for electricity for the first time since 1882.

Meanwhile, a FoE online petition urging the government to reject the new mine has now been signed by over 25,000 people.

“With the world facing a climate emergency it’s time to consign coal to the history books and build a cleaner, safer future based on energy efficiency and the UK’s vast renewable power potential,” Bosworth added.

 

Image credit: iStock

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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