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UK aims to douse coal power by 2025

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 01:31

Britain has announced plans to close its coal-fired power plants by 2025, becoming the first major economy to put a date on shutting coal plants to curb carbon emissions. As David Pollard reports, shares in one of the biggest operators in the coal power industry plunged on the news.

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Coal is dead - long live .... gas. UK energy minister Amber Rudd wants Britain to shut its coal-fired plants by 2025. They provided around a third of the country's electricity last year. SOUNDBITE (English) UK ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE MINISTER, AMBER RUDD, SAYING: "It cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting, carbon-intensive 50-year-old coal fired power stations. Let me be clear: this is not the future." The future is nuclear, and natural-gas fired power plants to supplement renewables. That's if there's enough of them. Reportedly, only one gas plant is being built - another struggling to find investors. And a government cut in subsidies to renewables earlier this year shocked the industry. This policy consultation, as it's been labelled, also appearing to take some by surprise. Though Drax - operator of Europe's largest coal plants - put a brave face on a near 5% plunge in its share price. CEO Dorothy Thompson. SOUNDBITE (English) DRAX GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE, DOROTHY THOMPSON, SAYING: "We recognised years ago, literally ten years ago, that coal has a limited life, and we've implemented this strategy to replace coal generation with biomass, using this really innovative technology. So for us, this was just a timing on a journey." Climate change campaigner Al Gore says the move demonstrates 'leadership' ahead of the Paris climate conference. Friends of the Earth were not so amicable - the policy was, they said, like an alcoholic switching from two bottles of whisky a day - to two bottles of port.

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UK aims to douse coal power by 2025

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 01:31