The government has confirmed it has accelerated the timeline for phasing out unabated coal from the UK’s energy mix. From the 1st of October 2024, the UK will no longer use coal power to generate electricity.
The plan, confirmed today by Energy and Climate Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, brings forward the official phase out date by one year, from the original date of October 2025.
The government also confirmed it would introduce legislation enshrining the new phase out date in law “at the earliest opportunity”.
The UK’s dependence on coal power has diminished in recent years. Currently there are only three operational coal power plants in the country, all expected to be decommissioned by October 2024.
According to official data, coal accounted for just 1.8% of the UK’s total electricity mix in 2020, compared with 40% almost a decade ago.
Trevelyan argued the decision to bring the deadline forward was proof of the UK leadership on tackling climate change, arguing the accelerated timeline would also help drive faster progress towards the UK’s net zero emissions goals.
“Coal powered the industrial revolution two hundred years ago, but now is the time for radical action to completely eliminate this dirty fuel from our energy system.
Today we’re sending a clear signal around the world that the UK is leading the way in consigning coal power to the history books and that we’re serious about decarbonising our power system so we can meet our ambitious, world-leading climate targets.
The UK’s net zero future will be powered by renewables, and it is this technology that will drive the green industrial revolution and create new jobs across the country.”