Authorities retains coal energy station open to spice up safety, regardless of lobbying to ‘consign coal to historical past’
The British authorities has prolonged the lifetime of a Yorkshire coal energy plant in a bid to “bolster” vitality safety, despite the fact that it final yr lobbied different international locations to “consign coal to historical past”.
The enterprise secretary Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed on Twitter that the federal government had struck a cope with EDF to maintain West Burton energy station on-line this winter, quite than closing it down in October as deliberate.
Mr Kwarteng stated discussions to maintain two additional crops open have been “ongoing”. Sky Information understands the extension will final till March 2023, with no additional extension anticipated past that.
“With uncertainty in Europe following the invasion, it is proper we discover all choices to bolster provide,” the enterprise secretary tweeted.
“If we have now accessible back-up energy, let’s preserve it on-line simply in case. I am not taking probabilities.
“For our long-term vitality safety, we’re accelerating renewables and nuclear – whereas maximising North Sea oil and gasoline manufacturing,” he stated.
Final yr as host of the COP26 local weather summit the federal government lobbied different international locations to “consign coal to historical past,” as it’s the most polluting fossil gasoline.
“Money, coal, vehicles, bushes”, was oft repeated by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a mantra summarising the UK’s priorities to deal with on the worldwide talks in Glasgow.
Since then Russia’s newest invasion of Ukraine has modified the vitality and geopolitical panorama considerably, shaking vitality safety world wide, with the European Union specifically feeling the squeeze on its gasoline provides and costs.
Some hope the disruption will speed up the shift in direction of renewables, as local weather and geopolitical objectives of getting off gasoline align, whereas others worry it is going to hinder local weather motion as international locations fall again on soiled vitality sources like coal.
Fuel use had surged as international locations looked for a substitute to extremely polluting coal.
Campaigners have accused some international locations of doubling down on fossil gasoline manufacturing underneath the pretext of vitality safety.
“Except the UK needs a global popularity as a hypocrite, these coal stations should lie idle except there is a real emergency scarcity of gasoline,” Greenpeace UK’s coverage director, Doug Parr.
“Had successive Conservative governments not hamstrung onshore renewables then regularly refused to take away the planning legal guidelines that also block their growth to at the present time, perhaps we would not be so reliant on gasoline – and now probably coal – for our electrical energy,” he stated.
He urged acceleration of renewable initiatives on and offshore, in addition to the ramping of dwelling insulation to chop demand.
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