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Does Coal Have a Role in "Clean" Energy?

Coal plantsJohn Hutton, a business Secretary and cabinet minister in the UK, recently said that coal must remain a part of his nation’s energy system.

Although he wants the UK to lead the world in renewable energy, he argues that some form of coal will be needed to work with renewables. The Liberal Democrats, on the other hand, argue that coal cannot be clean without carbon capture and storage. The problem is that technology is still years away from commercialization and the amount of money the UK is investing in its research is small.

This sparring comes while Hutton’s department is considering an application to build the UK’s first new coal plant in 24 years.


The question the UK and the rest of us have to grapple with is: Is coal a part of our energy future at all? Should coal plants have to commit to carbon capture and storage in order to be approved?


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Written By

I hail from Saint Paul, Minnesota, home to a region full of renewable energy potential and innovation. A public relations professional by day and blogger by night, I have a background in energy policy and communications. I'm particularly interested in the private sector's leadership and innovations in renewable energy - I cover this in my personal blog, Maria Energia. I enjoy traveling, reading, downhill skiing, scuba diving, and anything related to food (growing it, hunting it, cooking it, eating it). Fun fact: I make a 2-second appearance in An Inconvenient Truth (at the 2 minute mark, I'm the girl who is riveted.)


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