Kingsnorth Power station in Kent is to be forced to close under EU emissions reduction targets. It had exceeded its total production quota. The 123 workers employed there by E.ON will lose their jobs.
The power station has fallen victim to the EU diktat to substitute coal-fired generation by wind farms and renewable sources of energy. That policy now sees Kingsnorth and the mothballed Grain power station marooned at the Isle of Grain.
The subsidies and profits are faster and greater from wind farms than from long-term investment in refitting Kingsnorth to burn coal in a clean and sustainable operation.
The impact on the local Isle of Grain economy will be devastating. It is estimated that seven jobs outside the station depend on every job inside.
Attempts to install clean coal-burning technology at the station were frustrated by environmental protesters despite E.ON and local authority support.
Kingsnorth supplies the equivalent of two million homes, and its early closure brings ever closer the crisis gap in electricity supply and demand. The proposed closure has been accelerated by power company greed, which boosted coal station generation during the winter of 2010 as profit returns were greater than using gas-fired stations. ■