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Coal crisis: price woes set to continue as UK plant closes

One of the UK’s biggest power stations will close, with the government forced to deny that the closure of coal plants will lead to blackouts in the UK.

Rugeley Power Station, in Staffordshire, is set to close with 150 jobs likely to be lost and 190 contractors affected.

A spokesman for Engie, the French company which owns 75% of the plant, blamed “deterioration in market conditions” for the power station’s closure.

It is feared that the closure of one of the UK’s biggest power stations could lead to power shortages in the UK, but a spokesperson from Ofgem said it was “confident” about next winter’s power supply.

Energy secretary Amber Rudd has pledged to close all coal fired power stations by 2025, in favour of gas and nuclear. At the same time, EU regulations on carbon emissions have squeezed fossil fuel fired power stations.

Communities dependent on the coal industry across the world have struggled to come to terms with the collapse in mineral prices and the impact of measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

This looks likely to continue with an Australian economics professor warning that the price of coal won’t rise until 2020.

The Guardian report that the Queensland Resources Council has been busy lobbying the Queensland local government for emergency relief in a desperate bid to prop up the state’s ailing industry.

John Rolfe, from Central Queensland University, told ABC Radio yesterday: “Nobody predicted that the slowdown in mineral energy prices would be as swift or as long reaching. So these sorts of costs weren’t seen as an issue even two years ago.”

Cost of renewables plummets as price of oil extraction rises

The price of renewables has continued to fall despite the current slump in the oil price, with industry analysts stating that green power is now cheap enough to compete with fossil fuels.

Reuters report that the signing of the Paris climate agreement in December has caused investors to become weary of putting their money into fossil fuels.

The news comes as Business Green report that wind became the third biggest contributor to the European electricity grid last year, and is fast closing the gap on coal and gas.

In more good news for renewables, it is reported that wind met half of Scotland’s energy needs last month.

David King, Britain’s special representative for climate change, told Reuters that the number of deals conducted at side at the UN conference in Paris suggested that renewable energy was the future.

He said: “We are talking about the world’s biggest new market, it puts laptops into the shade. This renewable energy market is going to be by 2020 between $2ans $3 trillion a year.”

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