A report has shown that coal-fired power plants may be allowed to run past 2025 providing they make some use of carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Amber Rudd, Energy Secretary, promised in November’s ‘energy reset speech’ to remove all unabated coal generation in the next 10 years.
There was originally meant to be a consultation on the proposed cut off in spring of this year but this is still yet to take place.
An unnamed source from Whitehall is reported to have said that there are many points related to the coal industry that the consultation will address as well as gauging public opinion.
The source also said that the consultation will also outline what will happen to all coal power stations after the 2025 date and that is you choose to fit it with CCS, this will set a level which will not be permitted.
However, the government may yet choose to stop any coal generation that has any amount of carbon emissions but any discussion on this topic are still said to be purely speculative at this moment in time.
The coal forum had a meeting in February this year and the minutes of that discussion show that Andrea Leadsome, Energy Minister, is encouraging the coal industry to ‘engage in consultation’ by raising any questions or concerns they may have.
A Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) spokeswoman said that unabated coal is the most polluting and dirtiest method of electricity generation.
Due to this, she said that the government is fully committed to removing unabated coal power production by 2025 and that there is no alternative.
She said that this way made clear last year and that the department has not changed its outlook in this regard, before adding that the coal closures consultation will be outlined in the next few months.