Monday, July 24, 2017

Coal Collapsing in the UK

Coal was once a big thing in the UK. This is a photo from the 1912
coal miner's strike. Today, just 10 coal burning power plants are
in operation in the UK. Click for photo credit.
An article by Ian Clover in PV Magazine provides some stunning statistics on the use of coal in the UK: so far this year, coal provided only 2% of the national power supply. Contrast this with just 5 years ago when coal provided 40% of the power.

Many of us of a certain age remember the significance of coal in the UK economy. In 1984 and 1985, the country went through tremendous turmoil during a coal miner's strike. Nearly 150,000 coal miners were on strike during that period. At one time, there were over 1000 coal mines in the country, while today there are just 10.

In 2006, the government created a group to try to "secure the long-term future of coal power and mining.." but it is shutting down operations this year.

As I have been saying in this space for many years, coal is the energy of our grandparents.

While many are rightly concerned about what will happen to coal producing areas in the United States during our transition away from coal, we give coal communities false promises when politicians vow to bring back coal. It is like forcing a computer punch card reader on a mac user. The world is moving on to new technologies.

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