UK not to challenge EU environmental regulations on coal power plants - Times London

Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:31am GMT

Conservative MP Michael Fallon arrives at Downing Street in London, September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Conservative MP Michael Fallon arrives at Downing Street in London, September 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Neil Hall

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(Reuters) - The United Kingdom will not challenge the European Union's environmental rules which have led to closure of many old coal power plants even as the country faces threats of power black outs within the next two years, The Times of London reported on Monday.

"We are not planning to break the rules on that," Britain's Energy Minister Michael Fallon was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Britain's coal-fired generators, once the backbone of British energy industry, pumped out 91.86 terra watt-hours (TWh) of power in the first nine months of 2013 down three percent from the year before, according to provisional data published in a report by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

"We see coal shrinking very rapidly from now on, probably contributing nothing by 2030. Coal is going to disappear off the system," Fallon told the British paper.

National Grid has already warned of winter blackouts if investments are not made in new capacities even while Britain's power market is tightening over its ageing power-generation capacity.

(Reporting by Tasim Zahid in Bangalore; Editing by Diane Craft)

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