Need for coal
The impact of burning fossil fuels to create energy and the subsequent release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is one of the major issues of our age.
The UK is currently in a phase of transition towards a low carbon economy, but there will still be a need for coal. We still have significant coal reserves in parts of the United Kingdom but we need to balance their use in generating energy with the recognition of the volume of greenhouse gases it creates.
Currently 30% of the electricity we use is generated from coal-fired power stations and UK Coal supplies the fuel that makes 6% of the country’s electricity. This means that 70% of the coal used to generate the nation’s energy is imported from places such as Russia, South Africa and Colombia.
Importing coal from outside the UK creates more carbon dioxide than using our own coal. We believe in the need to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and continue to work with the Government and the power generating companies to find ways to do this.
A recent Government White Paper calls for secure, affordable and low-carbon electricity. This becomes entirely achievable using coal as older coal-fired power stations are replaced with cleaner means of generation and with the probable developments in carbon capture and storage.
This evolution will take time and in the interim there is still a significant need for coal to keep the nation’s lights on. There is also a future for coal as a sustainable source of energy as technology develops and therefore a real need to maintain and develop the operation of coal mining in the UK. While we investigate these new technologies, we are actively working to reduce our effect on the environment and make a positive contribution to communities around the country.