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Britain sets new coal-free power record

View profile for Miles Dearden
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New data published by the National Grid in recent days reveals that the UK set a new record for coal-free power generation last week, having powered Britain for more than two days straight without relying on the prominent fossil fuel.

According to the National Grid, no coal was processed for just shy of 55 hours between 22:25 on Monday 16 April 2018 and 05:10 on Thursday 19 April 2018.

Previously, Britain’s record for coal-free power generation sat at just 40 hours.

The National Grid’s data reveals that UK energy on Tuesday 18 April was generated by a mix of:

  • 31.5 per cent gas.
  • 20.1 per cent nuclear.
  • 25.1 per cent wind.
  • 7.6 per cent solar.
  • 7.5 per cent from imports.
  • 5.2 per cent biomass.
  • 1.4 per cent hydro.
  • 1.2 per cent storage.
  • 0.4 per cent from other sources.

Commenting, Fintan Slye, Director of UK System Operations at the National Grid, said: “The UK benefits from highly diverse and flexible sources of electricity and our energy mix continues to change. National Grid adapts the system operation to embrace these changes.

“We have set a new record by operating the electricity system without coal for just under 55 hours.”

Following the publication of the data, which marks yet another milestone along the UK’s journey towards decarbonisation, commentators and industry experts have noted that coal use in general continues to fall across the UK.

According to Carbon Tracker, UK coal use was down 19 per cent year-on-year in 2017.

A spokesperson from the organisation said that Britons ought to “expect more records to be broken this summer as coal continues its rapid decline.”  

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