Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

UK exploring using coal to help keep lights on next winter

© BloombergCoal UK
Cooling towers at Electricite de France SA's (EDF) coal-fired power station in West Burton

The UK held exploratory talks with Electricite de France SA about the possibility of keeping the West Burton A coal-fired power plant generating beyond the end of September, when it’s due to close.

The talks are at a very early stage, according to a person familiar with the matter. As things stand, EDF is running down stockpiles at the plant, which is located in the north east of England. Drax Plc said it hasn’t been asked to keep open its two coal units that are scheduled to shut in September.

Gas prices are more than double seasonal levels, with fears of supply disruption from Russia to Europe, driving prices to record highs last week. The government is concerned about the impact high energy prices will have on households and businesses as well as on inflation. Having the option to use more coal would give some protection if gas volumes were reduced, but could also help the nation use less gas if prices stay high.

“The plan is to start decommissioning the final two units at the start of October 2022, and many processes have already been put in place to achieve that, including reducing the site’s staffing numbers and running down the coal stock,” EDF said in a statement.

The UK’s plan to phase out coal by 2024 was a key part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s campaign at the COP 26 climate talks last year. There, he urged other countries to cut their dependence on coal to reduce emissions. Germany and Italy have both said they will also consider using coal in the short-term to cut gas use. The European Commission climate chief Frans Timmermans said that nothing should be taboo in reducing reliance on Russia as quickly as possible.

“The operation of UK coal plants is ultimately a commercial matter and we have made no formal request to EDF,” according to a statement from the UK department for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS). The story was first reported by The Times.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts