Mothball coal fired power plants to keep lights on say Eon Chief

Eon Energy's Chief Excutive has urged the government the government to make ageing coal fired power stations exempted from enviromental regulations to save the lights from going out.

Paul Golby has said that some coal and oil fired plants which are due to close this decade due to European pollution targets should remain opperational and ready to be used during periods of peak electricity demand such as been seen in the last couple of weeks.

A few oil and coal power plants could be mothballed to be used for a couple of days each year during peak demand.

'it might be a small ecomoic and carbon premium worth paying for security of supply and getting us through the transition to a low carbon system.'

Eon's chief excutives views are privately supported by many of the Uk power stations operators.  There is a fear of an energy gap in the next few years when older coal, oil and nuclear plants have been closed and new reactors, clean coal plants and wind farms haven't been built.

The views on the energy industry put them on a collission course with those of enviromentalists.  Enviromentalists are opposed to the use of coal in the power mix.  Coal power stations emit about twice as much carbon as gas power stations.  Eon has agrived the Enviromentalists in past when it made the first application in a decade to build a new coal power station.

Eon Energy's chief excutive has advised that as more wind farms are built the need for more back up generation is needed for when the wind doesn't blow.  During the recent cold snap Eon's Energy wind farms were only operating at 16% capacity on average during the month.