Phasing out coal by 2023

Response to the BEIS coal phase-out consultation

8 February 2017


On the closing day of the UK government’s coal phase-out consultation, Sandbag releases new analysis which shows that coal power in the UK can be phased out by 2023 at the latest, producing a more reliable, more flexible, and cleaner national grid.


Sandbag’s report also shows how the Capacity Market auctions continue to support old coal plants, rather than the new clean capacity the United Kingdom needs, including energy efficiency, batteries, and wind.


Crucially, the coal phase-out continues to rely upon the Carbon Price Support, a top-up tax on fossil power over the failing EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The report shows that the CPS must remain at least until the last coal plant closes.



“Bringing forward the coal phase-out to 2023 will make sure we get the benefits of a cleaner, more reliable, flexible grid without a delay.

The government’s impact assessment already shows coal is phased out by 2023, so this is not changing expectations, but it will send an important message to investors in the UK, on building new capacity, and an important message internationally, that the world is accelerating towards the end of coal power.”

Dave Jones

Power Analyst, Sandbag

The report is accompanied by a joint statement from 13 environmental organisations supporting an earlier phase-out of coal.

Read the full report: Sandbag Coal consultation response Feb 2017