The role our coal plays in Wales
Coal has been, and still is, an essential and integral part of Welsh industry and energy generation.
Coal currently provides around 40% of the UK’s electricity, a percentage which rises at peak periods in the winter months. Coal output in the UK is worth over £1 billion to the UK economy.
Our customers in Wales include Tata Steel and RWE’s power station at Aberthaw, two major employers in South Wales.
Coal is an essential part of the steel making process, and competitively produced Welsh coal, such as would be supplied from Nant Llesg, will help support Tata Steel’s operations. Tata Steel employs around 7,000 people in Wales and contributes some £3.5bn annually to the Welsh economy.
Coal from Nant Llesg would also help Aberthaw Power station supply 40% of South Wales’ electricity and accounts for some 500 jobs.
At the moment only 17% of coal burnt in UK power stations is supplied by UK coal mines. Producing high quality coal at Ffos-y-fran, and Nant Llesg, will help to avoid the higher costs of imported coal. Our schemes help to keep the lights on in South Wales and your homes warm during the winter months.
It now seems very possible that the UK will experience energy shortages over the short to medium term. Despite a general view that low carbon energy is key to future provision, it will take time for these technologies to increase their share of the UK energy market. Until this happens, coal will be needed to continue to play an important part of the electricity mix in the UK.