Carbon tax contributes to drop in coal-fired electricity in UK: report

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-28 01:29:10|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

LONDON, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Britain's proportion of electricity generated from coal has fallen significantly from 40 percent to just 3 percent ever since a tax on carbon dioxide emissions was introduced in 2013, according to a report released Monday by the University College London (UCL).

Introduced in England, Scotland and Wales at a rate of 4.94 pounds (6.45 U.S. dollars) per tonne of carbon dioxide-equivalent, the Carbon Price Support tax was increased to 18 pounds (23.49 dollars) per tonne of carbon dioxide in 2015, said the report.

After the increase, the share of coal-fired electricity generation in Britain fell from 28 percent in 2015 to 5 percent in 2018 and further decreased to 3 percent by September 2019, said the report.

Meanwhile, adding on average 39 pounds (around 51 dollars) to British household electricity bills, the tax collected around 740 million pounds (965.6 million dollars) for the Treasury in 2018, according to researchers from the UCL and the University of Cambridge.

The decline in coal generation accelerated substantially after the tax was increased in 2015, and the coal generation was replaced by other less emission-heavy forms of generation such as gas, the report said, noting that increased electricity imports from the European continent reduced the price impact in Britain.

Britain's electricity transition "has also demonstrated the power of an effective carbon price in lowering dependence on electricity generated from coal," said one of the report authors professor Michael Grubb from the UCL.