Tuesday 10 May 2016 3:32 pm

Energy supply risk if coal-fired power stations shutdown chaotically, MP says

A Tory MP has called on the government to prevent Britain's coal-fired power plants from closing all at once, potentially leading to an energy supply crunch.

The UK has pledged to phase out all of its ageing, uneconomic coal-fired power stations by 2025, however, there are rising fears that these aren't being replaced quickly enough.

Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, told City A.M. "It needs to be orderly because you need to make sure there's enough power on the grid. If they decide to shut down as and when it suits them we've got a potential problem."

Read more: World Energy Council: Cyber threat to world energy

"I'd like to think the [Department of Energy and Climate Change] was talking closely with all power generators but I'm not sure it is."

"Some will decide to come offline before 2025, they're not going to carry on generating if they're losing money."

He's submitted a written question to the secretary of state for the DECC, Amber Rudd, regarding the issue and should receive a response in the next three weeks.

Jeremy Nicholson, director at the trade group Energy Intensive Users, told City A.M: "We need reliable power to keep the lights on when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, and in the short term that means using coal as well as gas."

"Coal fired power stations are closing prematurely because of the government's carbon price floor, an ill-considered stealth tax that drives up household electricity bills and damages the competitiveness of UK energy intensive industries."

Read more: MPs want answers from EDF over delays

It comes as EDF investors are gearing up to debate the controversial Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project, which is at the heart of the government's energy plans, at a shareholder meeting tomorrow.

The £18bn reactor scheme is expected to start generating in 2025, and will meet seven per cent of the UK’s electricity needs over a 60-year period.

It was initially expected to be ready in 2017, nevertheless it's been plagued by numerous delays and setbacks.