Rudd to outline new energy strategy with gas and new nuclear at its heart

Energy secretary Amber Rudd will this morning outline a new energy strategy for the UK with gas and new nuclear power central elements.

The government has confirmed that it is to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025 and restrict their use by 2023. A number of coal-fired power stations are already set to close in the first half of 2016, however the decision marks a major shift in decarbonisation from the government.

According to Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) statistics the total operational capacity of the remaining coal power stations stands at around 19GW – almost a third of the UK’s total energy demand.

That capacity that will need to be replaced with new generation as coal plants close over the next decade, however Rudd is pinning her hopes on new nuclear power stations and gas to take coal’s place.

In a statement released ahead of publication of the strategy later today, Rudd slammed a “legacy of underinvestment” in energy infrastructure and said that the government needed to replace ageing power stations with “alternatives that are reliable, good value for money, and help to reduce our emissions”.

“Let me be clear: this is not the future… We need to build a new energy infrastructure, fit for the 21st century.

“Our determination to cut carbon emissions as cost effectively as possible is crystal clear and this step will make us one of the first developed countries to commit to taking coal off our system,” she added.

This is a developing story which will be updated as more information becomes available.