Coal Countdown

The UK plans to phase out coal fired power stations by 2025. The map above shows plants that are still operational, along with plants that have closed or been converted to biomass since the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) came into force in 2008.

List of remaining coal power plants in the UK

Name Location Status Capacity Age
Aberthaw B Vale of Glamorgan Closure announced for 31 March 2020. 1,586 MW 48 Years
Had been running reduced hours to comply with emissions limits. In August, owners RWE announced the station will close at the end of March 2020
Cottam Nottinghamshire Closure announced for 30 September 2019. 2,008 MW 50 Years
In February, EDF announced they will be closing Cottam Power Station at the end of September.
Drax
(Units 5-6)
North Yorkshire Plans to convert further units to gas. 1,290 MW (coal)
(3,885 MW total)
33 Years
Drax has been working on their move away from coal for some time now. 4 of the 6 units have been converted to fire Biomass, the first in 2013 and the most recent in 2018. Plans are in the pipeline to convert the remaining two units to gas as part of a larger expansion project.
Fiddlers Ferry Cheshire Closure announced for 31 March 2020. 1,961 MW 48 Years

One unit closed on March 2019, leaving a total capacity of 1,510 MW. In June 2019 SSE announced they will be closing the power station in March next year.

Kilroot County Antrim Planned to close by the end of May 2018. Contract extended by 12 months. 520 MW 38 Years
Kilroot and the nearby oil-fired Ballylumford power stations were sold to the Czech firm EPH in April 2019. They have both faced closure over the last few years.
Ratcliffe Nottinghamshire No plans to close. 2,000 MW 51 Years
Ratcliffe is fully compliant with current emissions regulations.
West Burton Nottinghamshire No plans to close. 2,012 MW 51 Years
Has a capacity agreement until September 2021, and owners EDF have confirmed they will operate the plant at least until then.

You can read more about the UK’s phase-out of coal on Carbon Brief’s Countdown to 2025: Tracking the UK coal phase out 

Timeline of closures since LCPD

Issued in October 2001, the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) aimed to reduce carbon emissions throughout Europe. The deadline of 1st January 2008 allowed plants that did not comply with the strict emission limits to opt-out, whereby they could operate for a further 20,000 hours or until 2015 at which point they had to close.

Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) announced

October 2001

The Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) announced, stating emissions limits that will be imposed on large carbon emitters.

LCPD Start Date

January 2008

LCPD comes into effect (for plants built before 1987), non compliant plants could opt-out, whereby they could operate for a further 20,000 hours until 2015 at which point they have to close.

Remaining coal or oil plants: 21

Grain Power Station Closed

December 2012

1,300 MW Grain oil-fired power plant in Kent closed.

Remaining coal or oil plants: 20

Kingsnorth Power Station Closed

December 2012

1,940 MW Kingsnorth power plant in Kent closed.

Remaining coal or oil plants: 19

Cockenzie Power Station Closed

March 2013

1,152 MW Cockenzie power plant in East Lothian, Scotland closed.

Remaining coal or oil plants: 18

Didcot A Power Station Closed

March 2013

1,958 MW Didcot A power plant in Oxfordshire closed.

Remaining coal or oil plants: 17

Fawley Power Station Closed

March 2013

2,000 MW Fawley oil-fired power plant in Southampton closed.

Remaining coal or oil plants: 16

Tilbury B Power Station Closed

August 2013

1,428 MW Tilbury B power plant in Essex closed.

Remaining coal or oil plants: 15

Uskmouth B Power Station Closed Pending Biomass Conversion

April 2014

363 MW Uskmouth B power plant in Newport, Wales closed pending conversion to biomass.

Remaining coal or oil plants: 14

Littlebrook D Power Station Closed

March 2015

2,055 MW Littlebrook D oil-fired plant in Dartford, Kent closed.

Remaining coal or oil plants: 13
Last remaining oil-fired power station to close.

Ironbridge B Power Station Closed

November 2015

The remaining unit of the 1,000 MW Ironbridge B power plant in Shropshire closed.

Remaining coal plants: 12

LCPD Closure Deadline

December 2015

Closure deadline for all plants opted out of the LCPD.

Industrial Emissions Directive Started

January 2016

Industrial Emissions Directive became effective, replacing LCPD.

Ferrybridge C Power Station Closed

March 2016

The remaining two units of the 2,000 MW Ferrybridge C Power Plant in North Yorkshire closed.

Remaining coal plants: 11

Longannet Power Station Closed

March 2016

2400 MW Longannet power plant in Fife closed. Longannet was Scotland’s largest coal power station.

Remaining coal plants: 10

Rugeley B Power Station Closed

June 2016

1,000 MW Rugeley B power plant in Staffordshire closed.

Remaining coal plants: 9

Lynemouth Power Station Closed Pending Conversion to Biomass

January 2017

420 MW Lynemouth power plant in Northumberland biomass stopped using coal and was converted to fire biomass.

Remaining coal plants: 8

Eggborough Power Station Closed

March 2018

2,000 MW Eggborough power plant in North Yorkshire closed, to be replaced with a gas-fired station.

Remaining coal plants: 7