• Business Business

Country's last remaining coal power plant to shut down after decades of operation: 'We're going to end it'

"We need to do our bit for the planet and this place is well past its sell-by date."

"We need to do our bit for the planet and this place is well past its sell-by date."

Photo Credit: iStock

Only months remain until the last coal power plant in Britain is shut down, nearly 60 years after it was first opened. Its closure is being celebrated, as it leads the country to reaching its goal of banning coal power throughout the United Kingdom. 

Since 1968, Ratcliffe-On-Soar Power Station has burned millions of tons of coal around 120 miles north of London. In the 1960s and 1970s, the power plant reportedly provided enough power to light up and heat around two million homes in the area, according to the Guardian.

Now, around the end of September, the power plant will officially close its doors as the last coal-powered station in Britain. 

While some reportedly have considered power plants like Ratcliffe to be the backbone of energy in the UK, per the Guardian, coal power has been found to have a catastrophic impact on our environment through pollution and harming air quality. 

Concerns over the impact of coal power have led many countries, including the United States, to shut down coal-powered plants and repurpose them to supply clean, renewable energy. 

Over the last decade, the UK has gradually closed coal power stations across Britain, with Ratcliffe being the last one remaining. Through the closures, the country has drastically lowered its reliance on coal, with it supplying only 1% of power generated in the UK in 2023, according to the Guardian. 

Plans are already underway to redevelop Ratcliffe into a "zero-carbon technology and energy hub," providing power to the millions in the region. The location of the power station has been found to have great potential for eco-friendly energy production, such as solar and wind power. Not only could this help lower the energy costs in the area, but the production of the green energy hub is expected to generate thousands of jobs. 

Many are eager for Ratcliffe's closure, with engineering manager Nigel Bates telling the Guardian that the shutdown marks the "end of the first Industrial Revolution." 

"Coal started it all, and soon we're going to end it," he said. "The time is right, realistically. We need to do our bit for the planet and this place is well past its sell-by date. It was built to run for 25-30 years. And 57 years later, we're still here."

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider