Coal: Scrapping power stations is wrong

Closing down the UK’s coal-fired power stations within a decade will doubtless cheer the environmentally-correct brigade, but that doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.

I understand the desire for new gas-fired and nuclear replacements, but until they are functioning we should not be arranging to close down these existing power stations, which provide approximately a quarter of all the UK’s electricity.

It’s all very well the National Grid claiming that we don’t need to worry about the lights going out, but I do worry about it.

And I also worry about the tens of thousands living in fuel poverty, particularly pensioners.

We are all aware that winter has definitely arrived now, and for many elderly folk that is literally a chilling thought, having to choose between eating or heating.

And a major reason for that is the high cost of energy because of green levies on our energy bills, resulting from the impossible carbon emission targets demanded by the EU.

This country’s energy needs have been badly neglected for decades now, and a coherent, comprehensive and long-term solution is urgently needed.

One that will assure supplies and cheap prices, not one cobbled together aimed at appeasing the EU and climate summit meetings.

Energy minister Amber Rudd is proposing the coal-fired station closures under the banner of energy security, but it doesn’t seem very secure to me if she means ever more dependence on politically unstable sources like Russia.

Meanwhile Germany is currently building or refurbishing a couple of dozen coal-fired plants.

Why is the UK planning to close ours when other EU countries are building them and Poland is refusing to give up its coal capacity?

Jonathan Arnott

UKIP North East MEP