Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Lecturer in Sustainable Energy Systems



+44 (0)20 7594 9570i.staffell




202Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Staffell, IL and Wilson, IAG},
doi = {10.1038/s41560-018-0109-0},
journal = {Nature Energy},
pages = {365--372},
title = {Rapid fuel switching from coal to natural gas through effective carbon pricing},
url = {},
volume = {3},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Great Britain’s overall carbon emissions fell by 6% in 2016, due to cleaner electricity production. This was not due to a surge in low-carbon nuclear or renewable sources; instead it was the much-overlooked impact of fuel switching from coal to natural gas generation. This Perspective considers the enabling conditions in Great Britain and the potential for rapid fuel switching in other coal-reliant countries. We find that spare generation and fuel supply-chain capacity must already exist for fuel switching to deliver rapid carbon savings, and to avoid further high-carbon infrastructure lock-in. More important is the political will to alter the marketplace and incentivize this switch, for example, through a stable and strong carbon price. With the right incentives, fuel switching in the power sector could rapidly achieve on the order of 1 GtCO2 saving per year worldwide (3% of global emissions), buying precious time to slow the growth in cumulative carbon emissions.
AU - Staffell,IL
AU - Wilson,IAG
DO - 10.1038/s41560-018-0109-0
EP - 372
PY - 2018///
SN - 1520-8524
SP - 365
TI - Rapid fuel switching from coal to natural gas through effective carbon pricing
T2 - Nature Energy
UR -
UR -
VL - 3
ER -