Coal phase-out implementation a positive step for UK energy industry

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has confirmed how it intends to implement the phase-out of coal power generation in the UK.

Included in the Department’s response to the Coal generation in Great Britain: The pathway to a low-carbon future consultation is the decision to use CO2 intensity as a means of excluding coal generation from the Capacity Market, which is a government-funded series of auctions designed to procure back-up power generation capacity.

Commenting on the response, Frank Gordon, Policy Manager at the Renewable Energy Association said:“We welcome the confirmation of this coal phase-out decision today and the further details regarding how this historic transition will be implemented.

“The way the government will implement the phase-out of coal commits them to using carbon intensity as a measure to exclude certain technologies from the capacity market, which is a major auction that procures back-up power capacity. Using maximum carbon intensity levels is something we have been calling for over the past year, and we now urge the government to commit to further reducing the carbon intensity of technologies that can bid in so that dirty diesel facilities will no longer be eligible to bid into the scheme.

“The constructive decision to phase-out coal is also somewhat undermined by recent proposals from the Department to restrict the development of new biomass plants in government auctions, including a lack of funding for coal-to-biomass conversion. Converting retiring coal facilities to sustainable biomass is the most cost-efficient way to transition these existing assets to this new low-carbon future and to retain and grow jobs and investment.”

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