The UK has gone an entire week without using coal to operate the national electricity system, setting a new record.
National Grid confirmed that on the 1st May, the final coal generator came off the system, meaning Britain has reached over 168 hours coal-free.
In a first for the UK, the milestone has been welcomed by industry professionals, with many predicting that such coal-free periods will become the ‘new normal’ as more renewables come onto the grid.
The Government has pledged to phase out the UK’s seven coal power plants in attempt to cut greenhouse gasses, aiming for a zero-carbon power grid by 2025.
Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark said:
Going a week without coal for the first time since the Industrial Revolution is a huge leap forward in our world-leading efforts to reduce emissions but we’re not stopping there. To combat climate change and seize on the opportunities of clean growth, we’re phasing out coal entirely by 2025 and building a cleaner, greener energy system.
We lead the world when it comes to tackling climate change and we want to carry on breaking records, which is why we’ve put foundations in place to allow our renewables sector to thrive. We’re now on a path to become the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions.