The government has announced plans to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025.
Energy secretary Amber Rudd said a consultation on the move would be carried out in the new year.
Coal is used to generate energy at 12 plants across the UK, although three of these are expected to close within the next six months.
Meanwhile a new wave of nuclear plants is expected, with Hinkley Point C leading the way.
Rudd said today: “Energy security comes first and I am determined to ensure that the UK has secure, affordable, and clean energy supplies that hardworking families and businesses can rely on now and in the future.
“We are tackling a legacy of underinvestment and ageing power stations which we need to replace with alternatives that are reliable, good value for money, and help to reduce our emissions.
“It cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting, carbon intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stations.
“Let me be clear: this is not the future. We need to build a new energy infrastructure, fit for the 21st century.
“Our determination to cut carbon emissions as cost effectively as possible is crystal clear and this step will make us one of the first developed countries to commit to taking coal off our system”.