Britain has not used power from coal for TWO WEEKS

Marco Green
June 2, 2019

Instead power is being supplied from a mix of renewables, gas, nuclear and interconnectors piping electricity from Europe.

The UK has gone two weeks without any power generated from coal-fired sources, setting a new record, according to the National Grid Electricity System Operator.

"The UK has the largest offshore wind capacity on the planet, can generate more than a quarter of our electricity needs from the sun and past year more than half of our electricity came from low carbon sources". By contrast, the nation's new coal-free stint will have been going on for 336 hours and counting by 3.12pm.

"The UK has the largest offshore wind capacity on the planet, can generate more than a quarter of our electricity needs from the sun and previous year more than half of our electricity came from low carbon sources".

It marks the end of a remarkable month for the United Kingdom grid.

"This new milestone demonstrates yet again that wind has become a mainstream power source for the United Kingdom, generating 17% of our annual electricity needs", said RenewableUK's Deputy Chief Executive Emma Pinchbeck, when asked for comment.

The longest period without coal before now ended on 9 May, when Britain lasted just over a week.

National Grid ESO director Fintan Slye said: "As more and more renewables come onto the system, we're seeing things progress at an astonishing rate".

"There is still a lot of work to do, but operating a zero-carbon electricity system in 2025, whenever there is sufficient renewable generation, is a major steppingstone to full decarbonisation of the entire electricity system".

"Thanks to rapidly improving renewable technology and increased energy efficiency, coal is becoming a bit player in the UK electricity mix", added Jack Dobson-Smith, a spokesperson for the UK Solar Trade Association.

National Grid ESO first announced plans to run a zero-carbon network for the United Kingdom by 2025 - excluding Northern Ireland - in April.

It's now the longest the country has given up on coal-generated energy since the Industrial Revolution. May has seen three stretches where coal has been off the grid for more than 100 hours at a time, and overall logged more than 624 hours without coal - more than all of 2017. "The Government has been told to act now to build on the coal phase-out, investing in our world-leading renewable industry and the jobs it brings, including technologies which are currently absent from Government policy, from innovative wave and tidal power to cheap onshore wind".

Chris Skidmore, energy and clean growth minister, said: "The UK has the largest offshore wind capacity on the planet, can generate more than a quarter of our electricity needs from the sun and a year ago, more than half of our electricity came from low carbon sources".

Nonetheless, new research published this week found that the number of jobs in renewable energy in the United Kingdom plunged by almost a third between 2014 and 2017, amid cuts to Government-led support schemes.

RenewableUK's deputy chief executive Emma Pinchbeck cheered the news today, but warned attention must now turn to eradicating fossil fuel use across the rest of the economy.

"We need to move from fossil fuels right across the economy to avoid the enormous risks of climate disruption and to benefit from modern, clean, technologies", Pinchbeck said. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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