Energy Minister Amber Rudd tours the facility (UK Power Networks)

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UK coal fired power stations to close by 2025

The UK government will “reset” energy policy, putting the fight against climate change on the back burner while refocusing efforts on generating power using gas instead of coal.

In a major speech to take place later today, energy secretary Amber Rudd will say she wants to focus on making energy “affordable and secure” and wants to end subsidies for green energy which the minister has criticised for being poor value for for money.

Rudd will say: “One of the greatest and most cost-effective contributions we can make to emission reductions in electricity is by replacing coal-fired power stations with gas.

“Gas is central to our energy secure future. In the next 10 years it’s imperative that we get new gas-fired power stations built.”

Gas has long been touted by fossil fuel companies as a bridging fuel from carbon intensive fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Under the plans coal fired stations, which currently account for 30% of power generated in the UK, will be phased out by 2023 and all but finished by 2025.

Rudd’s speech coincide with the publication of new research by Greenpeace which suggests that closing down the UK’s coal fired power stations in ten years could save thousands f lives and save billions.

You can read more about the study on Energydesk.

You can also follow our coverage of Amber Rudd speech by following us on Twitter @energydesk

Paris climate march in doubt due to security fears

Environmental activists have strongly criticised French government plans to scale down the proposed climate demonstration on November 29th, designed to coincide with the start of COP21, due to security concerns.

Talks held yesterday between demonstrators and French foreign minister Laurent Fabius ended without agreement yesterday.

France is still reeling from Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris by Isis extremists. Earlier this morning, police and military personnel stormed a flat in the suburbs of the city where suspects were staying.

Activists had hoped a rally to coincide with the start of the UN climate conference would attract hundreds of thousands to the French capital.

But with authorities on high alert, Fabius had been looking to dramatically scale down the demonstration to just a few thousand and move it out of the centre of the city.

World leaders from almost every major power will descend on Paris at the end of the month for the conference.

Statoil abandons Arctic drilling site

Norwegian oil company Statoil has announced that it has abandoned plans to drill in the Alaskan Arctic, weeks after Shell ended its multi-billion dollar project without getting a drop of crude.

The company announced yesterday that it was exiting its 16 leases to drill in the region and closing down its offices in Alaska.

Statoil said: “leases in the Chukchi Sea are no longer considered competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio.”

Low oil prices, as well as a shifting political attitude to Arctic drilling with President Obama blocking new drilling in the region, have conspired to make oil exploration in the region less attractive.

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