The UK government is close to concluding an agreement to keep the coal-fired power plant in Nottinghamshire open longer than planned as ministers try to increase energy supplies to Britain.

Representatives of the United Kingdom are negotiating with the French energy company EDF on plans to expand the West Burton A power plant near Retford.

The plant was supposed to close by October this year, but now it can run until March.

If an agreement is reached, the government will enter into a reserve regime agreement under which reserve food will be available for approximately 1.5 million homes.

An agreement between EDF, the government, UK energy regulator Ofgem and electricity system operator National Grid (ESO) on how much the French company will pay was due to be signed last week, but is now likely to be completed this week. Financial Times. It is expected to cost tens of millions of pounds to be charged from electricity bills.

West Burton A began generating in 1966 and was originally scheduled to close last year before it was extended until September this year.

An EDF spokesman said: “EDF is making every effort to finalize an agreement with ESO’s National Grid to support the government’s request to preserve the West Burton A power plant over the next winter. The update will be provided at the appropriate time. “

The government is also in talks with Drax to extend the life of its coal plant in Yorkshire, which is due to close in September. The Uniper plant in Ratcliffe-on-Saar, Nottinghamshire, which was also due to close in September, could be extended.

Business Secretary Kwasi Quarteng wrote to the ESO National Grid late last month asking to find ways to produce “extra non-gas capacity for next winter that would otherwise be unavailable” to minimize the impact of volatile energy. promissory note markets.

Quarteng reiterated its commitment to the government’s deadline for ending domestic coal production by September 2024 and phasing out Russian coal imports by the end of the year.

Participants in the environmental campaign are likely to be concerned about the expansion of coal production, the most polluting form of electricity generation.

The Doug Parr, Greenpeace’s director of political affairs in the UK, said: “If the UK does not want to have an international reputation as a hypocrite, these coal stations should stand idle if there is no real emergency gas shortage. Although blaming the authorities is easy [Vladimir] With Putin moving away to coal, Britain’s over-dependence on fossil fuels is linked to years of blocking cleaner and cheaper electricity.

“To address the climate crisis and reduce high bills the UK needs to end its dependence on fossil fuels. That means getting involved and investing in refurbishment projects, both offshore and offshore, and properly insulating homes across the UK to make sure they use and spend less energy. ”

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However, Tom Burke, chairman of the E3G Climate Change think tank, said: “There are more important things to worry about in the government’s failure to decarbonise our energy system than the temporary expansion of a coal-fired power plant in the mid-Ukrainian war.

“There is a simple and straightforward way to ensure energy security and keep bills lower, and that’s to spend money on energy efficiency.”

The government said the extension of West Burton A was “a welcome step in further enhancing our energy security and domestic supplies in light of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

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