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Britain’s government said some coal-fire power plants that were due to close later this year may need to stay open to help ensure electricity supply this winter.

Countries across Europe are drawing up contingency plans in case of major disruptions to flows of Russian gas following its invasion of Ukraine, with Russia typically supplying around 40 per cent of Europe’s gas.

“In light of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, it is only right that we explore a wide range of options to further bolster our energy security and domestic supply,” a government spokesperson said via e-mail on Monday.

Britain typically generates about 50 per cent of its electricity from gas. Although Russia only meets about 4 per cent of Britain’s gas needs, a significant disruption in supply would affect prices in Europe and make it harder for Britain to secure gas from others.

“While there is no shortage of supply, we may need to make our remaining coal-fired power stations available to provide additional back up electricity this coming winter if needed,” the government spokesperson said.

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