Category Archives: Coal

Coal may be declining, but renewables are being held back

Last Friday was probably the first time the UK has not used coal to generate electricity since the world’s first public coal-fired generator opened in 1882 in London. That is undoubtably a notable milestone towards a low carbon energy system, but it doesn’t mean an end to fossil fuel electricity generation. There may have been …

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Keeping the lights on

Keeping the lights on remains a controversial issue with competing views on short term capacity against long sustainable generation. A group of MPs in the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) argue that Britain could be facing nationwide festive blackouts next winter unless radical changes are made to the UK’s electricity network. They claim that UK government …

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Goodbye to Longannet power station

Goodbye Longannet, you and the workers employed there, served Scotland well. The coal-fired power station at Longannet in Fife was switched off yesterday, bringing to a close more than 45 years of electricity generation. More than 177 million tons of coal was used during its operating lifetime. Something our esteemed Editor was more familiar with …

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Longannet closure undermines a balanced energy policy

We had final confirmation today that Longannet coal-fired power station is to close by the end of March 2016. Not unexpected given Scottish Power’s announcement earlier this year when it wasn’t selected by National Grid for the voltage capacity contract, but a big blow to workers at the plant and the wider Fife economy. Longannet, …

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Longannet – three reasons why it’s closing early

The early closure of Longannet power station in Fife is a shocking blow to the workforce and the Fife economy. The causes are a toxic cocktail of company indifference, absurd regulations and an energy policy that’s not fit for purpose. Scottish Power has announced that it is to to close its coal-fired power station at …

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Taking the finance out of fossil fuels

Getting the finance out of fossil fuels is an important element in tackling climate change. We are still on a trajectory to overheat the planet and fossil fuel emissions are the primary cause. I was speaking at a meeting tonight organised by Friends of the Earth Scotland on this issue in Edinburgh. The irony is …

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RIP Cockenzie – you served Scotland well

I have to admit to a soft spot for power stations. Even smoke belching ones. Yes, I know they are bad for the environment, but I admire the engineering skill of those who built and operate them. I always enjoy a visit just to see the power of the turbines providing electricity to so many …

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Scottish coal industry collapsing

Scotland’s coal industry hit a new low after the Scottish Resources Group (Scottish Coal) announced it is to axe 450 of its 758-strong workforce. It blamed the rise in cheap imports and fracking in the US. The National Union of Mineworkers said it could affect six out of the eight surface mines operated by the …

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