UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, has delivered her vision on a new direction for the country’s energy policy, which includes the shutting down of all coal-fired power stations by 2025 and implementing restrictions on their use by 2023.
Commenting on the UK’s heavy reliance on coal, Rudd said that a higher proportion of electricity generated in 2014 came from coal than what was generated in 1999.
Coal-fired stations are planned to be replaced with gas. Rudd said: “One of the greatest and most cost-effective contributions we can make to emission reductions in electricity is by replacing coal fired power stations with gas.
“Our consultation will set out proposals to close coal by 2025 – and restrict its use from 2023. If we take this step, we will be one of the first developed countries to deliver on a commitment to take coal off the system.”
The Energy Secretary also highlighted nuclear energy generation as playing a key role in Britain’s energy future, stating that nuclear has “the promise of low cost, low carbon energy.”
The government will also further support the growth of renewables, namely fostering development of the UK’s offshore wind sector.
“We should also support the growth of our world leading offshore wind industry. On current plans we expect to see 10GW of offshore wind installed by 2020.
“The industry tells us they can meet that challenge, and we will hold them to it. If they don’t there will be no subsidy. No more blank cheques,” said Rudd.
Tackling climate change
Rudd’s proposed energy strategy comes in the build up to the Paris climate talks.
According to The Telegraph, the Energy Secretary stated that there has been a “woeful underinvestment in critical energy infrastructure over the last decade,” but that government remains committed to its carbon emission reduction targets.
She said: “Action on climate change is linked to the action we’re taking now to reduce the deficit. It is about resilience now and in the future. But climate change is a global problem, not a local one.
“Action by one state will not solve the problem. It’s what we do together that counts. And that is why achieving a global deal in Paris next month is so important.“