Great Britain records two weeks of coal-free electricity generation

(The Guardian, 31 May 2019) England, Scotland and Wales went for two weeks without coal at 3.12pm on Friday.

Great Britain has hit a new power milestone – lasting for a fortnight without using any coal power to generate electricity for the first time since the industrial revolution.

The system which supplies electricity across England, Scotland and Wales went for two weeks without coal at 3:12pm BST precisely, according to the National Grid Electricity System Operator.

The latest landmark comes less than a month after Britain’s first week without coal, underlining the dramatic decline in its use in recent years.

Coal has been used for electricity generation since 1882, when a plant opened in Holborn, London. However in 2018 the fuel made up just 5% of Britain’s electricity generation, a big decline from about 40% in 2012, according to figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Coal has mainly been replaced by natural gas, which produces less than half the carbon dioxide emissions. Renewable sources with no direct carbon emissions, such as solar and wind power, accounted for 28% of electricity generation in 2018, according to the power company Drax. The British record for solar power has also been beaten this month. On 14 May the country generated 25% of its power from the sun.

External link

The Guardian, 31 May 2019: Great Britain records two weeks of coal-free electricity generation