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Wärtsilä Europe executive raises concerns about increased UK coal imports

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Ville Rimali, Director of Growth and Development at Wärtsilä Europe, has reacted to recent news that the UK’s coal imports have increased over the past month.
Wärtsilä Europe executive raises concerns about increased UK coal imports
Coal-fired power station. Courtesy of NREL.

The Times reported on Sunday (27th November) that the UK has doubled its imports of coal in order to blunt the current winter energy crisis. The paper said that rising gas prices, an effect of the Ukraine War, are partly to blame and cited figures from commodity analytics firm Kpler showing that last month 560,000 tonnes of coal came through British ports, against 291,089 tonnes in October 2021.  

“It is extremely worrying that the UK’s coal imports have doubled in the past month” said Ville Rimali, Director of Growth and Development at Wärtsilä Europe. “While there is no avoiding the fact that the energy crisis has created extremely challenging conditions this winter, we cannot allow one red flashing light to distract us from another. [Action on] climate change cannot be delayed – we need urgent action to reduce our emissions. Not only is coal highly polluting, but it is also incompatible with renewable energy as it cannot be ramped up and down to meet demand. Instead of importing more coal, the UK’s focus should be on scaling renewable energy. Having studied the UK’s power system over many years, our modelling indicates that 112 GW of wind power is required by 2035. Crucially, this ambitious target cannot come from offshore wind alone. Across Europe, we need to unleash the potential of onshore wind by improving regulation and speeding up permitting processes, which will increase energy independence and create renewable energy systems.”

For additional information:

Wärtsilä

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