EDINBURGH, Scotland, April 22 (UPI) -- It's possible for mining operations in Scotland to continue even after Scottish Coal went into liquidation, Scottish First Minister Fergus Ewing said.
Nearly 600 employees were put out of work after Scottish Coal was put into liquidation. The company operated six open-pit mines in Scotland. It sustained a 90 percent drop in 2011 profits because of lower coal prices and higher costs.
"The Scottish government will do everything we can to secure the continued operation of the business on a sustainable basis and we are in contact with both the liquidators and the trade unions in this regard," Ewing said.
Scotland has some of the most ambitious clean energy programs. Ewing last month said the amount of renewable energy generated in 2012 in Scotland reached a record of more than 14,600 gigawatt hours.
A report last week from the International Energy Agency states that coal technology continues to lead in terms of new power generation. Coal-fired power increased 6 percent from 2010-12 and has grown at a faster rate than renewable energy.
The IEA said the continued use of coal is part of the reason why the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of energy has declined less than 1 percent since 1990.