By Andreas Franke
July 1, 2021 - The UK has brought forward the exit from coal-fired power generation by one year to 2024, energy and climate change minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said June 30.
From 1 October 2024 Great Britain will no longer use coal to generate electricity. However, coal accounted for only 1.8% of the UK's electricity mix in 2020, compared with 40% almost decade ago.
"Coal powered the industrial revolution 200 years ago, but now is the time for radical action to completely eliminate this dirty fuel from our energy system," the minister said in a statement.
The move is part of the government's commitment to transition away from fossil fuels and reduce emissions from the power sector.
It highlights the UK government's aim to play a leading role in tackling climate change ahead of hosting the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow this November, the statement said.
The UK is calling on all nations to accelerate the phase out of coal power.
Uniper's Ratcliffe unit will be the UK's last remaining coal plant after EDF Energy said in March its West Burton A unit would shut by Sept. 2022.
Drax, once the UK's biggest coal plant, ended commercial coal-firing in March at the remaining coal units in Yorkshire.
S&P Global Platts Analytics assumed that Ratcliffe would shut in 2024 with "commercial output expected to be effectively zero in summers for the whole forecast period," it said in its latest Five-Year-Forecast published in late March.