 An overall framework for energy in the UK needs a series of interlinked financial and policy instruments, some of which will be fuel or technology specific in order to ensure a diverse portfolio of power generation, including clean coal.

 Coal is secure, affordable and long-term. Clean coal power generation with an important role for indigenous coal will meet all of the Energy White Paper objectives, set an environmental example to global markets, where coal use is set to grow considerably, and offer substantial manufacturing and employment opportunities for UK industry.

 The Government’s ambition should be to maintain at least the current coal-fired generation capacity in the UK (29 GW) whilst at the same time moving the whole coal fleet to clean coal technology and, ultimately, zero emissions.

 This ambition can be achieved by a combination of new build and retrofits (11 GW in total over the next ten years), including a number of plants with Carbon Capture and Storage and a number of capture-ready plants. Once all of these plants have CCS fitted and operating, the CO2 savings will be 25 to 43 mt CO2/year, dependent on which plants they displace.

 Action is needed by the government to remove the barriers to clean coal power plants, including urgent adjustment to the UK ETS proposals for New Entrants to remove perverse disincentives and a support mechanism for the first CCS projects which will demonstrate the full range of technologies for capture, transport and storage in the UK environment. Within 2-3 years, the legal infrastructure for CO2 storage needs to be established and planning in place for a CO2 gathering and distribution network.

 Indigenous coal has an essential role in securing peak electricity supplies (much greater than its average share of generation) but indigenous coal is presently sold at prices determined by long-term contracts which are less than the delivered cost of imported coal and at levels which do not allow new investment in deep mines. Government help is needed to facilitate new contract arrangements which reward indigenous supply and underpin investment and employment.

 Just as recognised for other developments in the energy field which are hindered by planning procedures, a framework for coal should include removing existing discriminatory planning guidance (“the presumption against”) which impedes developments of new surface or deep mines.

 An early high level endorsement for Clean Coal in Britain as part of a diverse generation portfolio is essential to signal the government’s intentions and trigger the planning of projects necessary to make significant progress towards meeting the Energy White Paper objectives over the next ten years.

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