Britain considers coal power back-up for next winter

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LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) – Britain is considering keeping some coal plants available for back-up power to ensure sufficient electricity supplies for next winter, National Grid said on Wednesday.

Britain has a target to close its coal-fired power plants by October 2024 as part of efforts to cut emissions in line with climate goals.

Plant operators such as EDF and Drax had indicated their plants would close before this deadline but they have been kept available under contracts with National Grid as part of contingency plans for winter 2022/23 against a backdrop of record gas prices and fears of supply issues.

National Grid’s Electricity System Operator said it has been asked by the government to explore potential contingency contracts for coal plants for the 2023/24 winter.

This winter the back-up coal plants have been used only once, when a cold snap swept the country in early March.

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