The cooling towers of Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station will be a familiar site to anyone travelling on the M1 near to Nottingham. Built in the 1960’s, the station by 1981 was burning 5.5 million tons of coal a year, consuming 65% of the output of South Nottinghamshire’s coal mines. The site has been the scene of many protests by environmental activists, drawing attention to the stations enormous emissions of sulphur dioxide and green house gases.
With the UK government pledging to stop all coal fired power stations from operating by 2025 the use of coal power for generating electricity has collapsed. Ratcliffe-on-Soar as one of Britains last coal fired power stations was closed late in 2019 with potential plans to convert the site to nuclear power.