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CoalImp emphasises coal’s role in the UK

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World Coal,

In the lead up to COP21 climate change conference in Paris in December, the UK has committed to challenging low carbon targets over the coming decades.

Yet the Association of UK Coal Importers (CoalImp) has emphasised that coal’s role in keeping bills down and lights on is becoming more overlooked and that it needs to be focused on during the UK’s decarbonisation in order to reduce household bills, support British industry and avoid blackouts.

CoalImp’s new circular looks at how the security and affordability of electricity supply is being threatened by the early closure of coal-fired power plants and how it believes there is no credible solution to climate change without the inclusion of coal.

High electricity costs are also contributing to job cuts in the industry. The UK government has estimated that with existing policies, wholesale electricity prices in 2030 will be more than 60% higher than in 2014, while the average customer bill could be over £200 higher.

CoalImp pointed out that the UK’s unilateral carbon tax does nothing to reduce CO2 emissions, which are subject to a pan-EU cap. It feels this could facilitate European competitors to increase emissions and have lower bills, which the UK would miss out on.

Managing Director of CoalImp, Nigel Yaxley, commented: “Climate change is a global phenomenon and requires a coordinated global approach. Coal can be part of the solution through carbon capture and storage (CCS) … If the UK acts fast, it can still be a leading developer of this technology, creating genuine economic and environmental benefits at home and abroad.

Yaxley continued: “CoalImp believes that a managed transition to meeting carbon targets over the coming two decades is essential, whilst keeping bills down and maintaining security.

The National Grid Winter Outlook indicated only a 1.2% capacity margin for 2015/16. Following closure announcements at Longannet and Eggborough, CoalImp anticipates this will take the capacity margin into negative unless new secure capacity can be created.

Yaxley emphasised: “With the capacity margin for the coming winters so precarious, policy makers must act quickly and responsibly to secure the UK’s sustainable energy future.”

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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