By 2023 coal power will be dead in the United Kingdom.
The U.K. is reportedly going to announce the phasing out of all coal power plants in the country in the run up to the United Nations climate summit in Paris next month. The country will either close coal plants down, convert them to biomass or retrofit them for carbon capture. The announcement would continue the U.K.’s transition away from coal and comes after the closure of the country’s last deep coal mine in July of 2015.
This is not a new goal for conservative David Cameron’s government, which has previously said it wants to phase out existing coal power over the next 10 to 15 years.
Closing the country’s remaining 15 coal plants, however, will take a whopping 24,830 MW of generational capacity off the grid, meaning somewhere between 20.2 percent to 34.6 percent of Britain’s electricity will need to be replaced. The shuttered coal power could end up being replaced by wind, solar or natural gas.
Either way, decommissioning coal plants could be a costly endeavor. U.K. resident already pay about 50 percent more for electricity than their American counterparts.
As recently as January of 2015, coal was the most used fuel for electricity generation in the U.K. because natural gas prices briefly increased.
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