RWE announces closure of UK coal fired power plants

The 1,560 MW Aberthaw B coal fired power station will close its doors on 31 March 2020, according to RWE spokeswoman Kelly Nye. The decision was attributed to challenging market conditions. Despite the plant’s closure, RWE intends to remain an important player in the UK energy market through its gas and biomass power station portfolio.

The UK plans to phase out coal fired power plants completely by 2025. Many of the UK’s remaining coal fired plants have been put under pressure due to regulations like the European Commission’s Large Combustion Plants Directive, which aims to reduce emissions of pollutants and ozone precursors throughout Europe. Some plants, like North Yorkshire’s Drax Units 5 and 6 have managed to escape a full closure by converting from coal powered energy production to biomass powered energy production, as well as shifting some of the business focus to battery storage.

Only two coal-fired power plants, both based in Nottinghamshire, have yet to announce official plans for conversion to non-coal energy sources or closure. However, the inability of yet another coal powered plant to compete with the economics of renewable energy, paired with the 2025 government deadline looks dire for the Nottinghamshire coal industry and what remains of the UK coal industry.

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