The UK Government announced in 2015 that it will be closing its remaining coal power stations in favour for cleaner gas power stations by 2025. This was a popular decision, with coal power stations accounting for a very large part of the UKs carbon emissions. However The Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) believe that the plans have been rushed and are currently unrealistic.
Under the plans the UK would need to build around 30 new gas power stations over the next decade, and they have only built 10 since 2005. IMechE says that the UK does not have the skills or resources to build that many power stations in such a short period of time.
The UK is also currently in the process of decommissioning a number of nuclear power plants and reducing support for the renewable energy industry. There are fears that adding the total decommissioning of all coal power plants could be a step too far and put the UK energy security at risk.
Energy security has been a priority for the Conservative Government who claim that their plans to be the first country to end the use of coal power plants will be done in a way that maintains energy security. The Government have said that they are investing heavily in cleaner energy such as nuclear and shale gas, which will create affordable energy for hard working family’s ands businesses in the UK.