UK sets new record for days without coal power

The UK has gone five days without burning any coal to generate electricity, the longest stretch without the fossil fuel since the Industrial Revolution.

According to the National Grid, as of 3pm on Tuesday the UK had been producing energy for 145 hours without coal power plants supplying any at all.

Instead, the majority of the country’s power has come from combined cycle gas turbines, with renewable, nuclear, and solar power also contributing significantly to meeting the demand.

The last time coal was burned to produce power was around noon on 1 May, when coal supplied a small amount of power to support the grid.

In general coal power plants are increasingly being sidelined in the British energy sector.


There will be no electricity in the UK supplied by coal power at all by 2025, and the government believes the last coal plant in the UK could close as early as 2022 due to emissions charges.

A spokesperson for the government told Sky News: “Decarbonising our energy system is a crucial part of our commitment to ending our contribution to global warming.

More from Science & Tech

“This year we’ve already reached the major milestone of 1,000 hours without using coal to power our homes and industry.

“We’re closing in on phasing out coal entirely from our power system by 2025 as our renewables sector goes from strength to strength on our path to becoming the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions.”

A spokesperson for the National Grid told Bloomberg: “As more and more renewables come onto our energy system, coal-free runs like this are going to increasingly seem like the new normal.

“We believe that by 2025 we will be able to fully operate Great Britain’s electricity system with zero carbon.”

Reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 was one of the calls from the Extinction Rebellion, alongside a citizen’s assembly to oversee the changes necessary to achieve this.

The record comes shortly after the rebellion’s enormous climate change protest in London, during the course of which more than 1,000 people were arrested.

Extinction activists brought 10 days of disruptive protests to an end two weeks ago with a closing ceremony in Hyde Park.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.