Is There a Role for Coal?
Date of Article
Mar 30 2009

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The credit crunch, recession and a collapse in the carbon price are conspiring to bring about a crisis in the 'green' energy sector.

Over the past week the previously fast-growing renewable energy sector has seen a decision by Shell to stop building wind and solar schemes worldwide, the wave company Pelamis hit by technical and financial troubles, and EDF Energy warn that UK renewable targets would not be achieved and should therefore be scaled back to “realistic” levels.

Problems seem to be industry-wide even affecting those large-scale investments in offshore wind farms that are expected to form the cornerstone of plans to generate 20% of the UK’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The London Array, potentially the biggest offshore wind farm in the world, is already thought to be under threat because of the changed economic conditions. Shell pulled out last year and Centrica and E.ON have both raised concerns about the prospects for big wind schemes.

Where does this leave us? Will the country end up having to use more gas or even coal plants to keep the lights on? In the year which marks the 25th anniversary of the miners strike perhaps “King Coal” is not quite dead and buried.

Coal extraction in the UK continues to more forward, with many operators searching for new opencast coal reserves to supplement the country's energy stocks. At Carter Jonas, our Chartered Minerals Surveyors have many years experience of working alongside the coal industry, dealing with everything from site finding through to preparation of environmental impact assessments.

If you are a landowner interested in exploring the possibilities of coal extraction, why not call us for an informal discussion?