The coal truth: how a major energy source lost its power in Britain

Coal supplied just 2% of power in the first half of 2017, marking a steep decline from just five years ago, according to analysis by Imperial College

LONDON, ENGLAND — “This week, it emerged that ministers are disbanding a government and industry body created to secure the long-term future of coal power and mining, in the latest sign of the dirty fuel’s rapid demise in the UK.

The 11-year-old Coal Forum will be wound down because it ‘no longer serves a purpose’, said Richard Harrington, the new energy minister.

Pollution laws and carbon taxes have forced large, ageing plants to close in the past five years, with three major ones closing in 2016 alone.

…The fortunes of coal, once a bedrock of the economy, contrast sharply with atomic power and the growth of renewables. In February, ministers re-established the Nuclear Industry Council, an industry-government group, to support their ambition of a fleet of new reactors. Helped by government subsidies, wind, solar and biomass now generate a quarter of the UK’s power, up from small amounts a decade ago.

Coal’s fall from grace is without parallel in the UK, experts said.”

— Adam Vaughn, The Guardian

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