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UK Lords pass amendment to clamp down on growing coal generation


Members of the UK's House of Lords late Monday passed an amendment to the energy bill now going through parliament intended to restrict the growing share of coal in the power generation market.

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The amendment would ensure that coal plant fell under the control of carbon dioxide performance rules.

Lord Teverson, who speaks for the Liberal Democrat party on energy and climate change issues, said in proposing the amendment that it "would ensure that there is no longer a baseload coal generation into and beyond the next decade."

He said this was "crucial for climate change and the government's wish to bring down carbon emissions."

He added that it would also help to provide an incentive for carbon capture and storage development and "make sure that new gas investment can actually take place."

Coal, he noted, was currently making up about 40% of the UK's generation mix, while more expensive gas had fallen to only 28%.

The amendment, also backed by Labour peer Baroness Worthington, was passed by 237 votes to 193.

Teverson said that coal plants were "effectively excluded" under current emissions performance standard rules, but it was vital to change this as "unabated coal plants are one of the main sources of our nation's overall emissions of CO2."

Despite restricting coal, he said the amendment would not hinder security of supply.

"Coal can continue to operate beyond 2016 under derogations and, in fact, can operate for some 17,500 hours, limited, right up to 2023."

He added: "The importance of that is that coal-fired power stations can still operate during peak times and therefore make sure that we do not have blackouts."

--Alex Froley,
--Edited by James Leech,