The 21st April 2017 saw the UK’s first 24 hour period without using coal to generate new energy in 135 years! This milestone achievement was previously held with a 19 hour record where no coal was burned in May 2016 but after continuing to promote lower pollutants, natural gas sources and of course renewables, a full day has become possible this April.
Coal generation and its usability has dropped noticeably in year leading up to 2017. As an increasingly uneconomic resource, we see more coal plants closing or switching to Biomass and renewable energy sources. Last year coal generation was responsible for only 9% of electricity generation, a reduction again from 23% in 2015.
The Government in Britain and the UK stated in 2016 that they aim to have phased out the last of its coal power plants by the year 2025. This is in an effort to reduce emissions and will significantly reduce the impact of climate change.
In its place will be a combination of natural gas resources, which emit a lot less carbon per kilowatt hour of electricity once generated. This will be paired with large scale renewable energy sources, like biomass, solar, and the very promising offshore wind farms dotted around the UK shores.
All of these contributions made it possible to be non-reliant on coal to run for an impressive, full 24 hours. Renewable energy sources actually accounted for 25% of energy supply in 2015, and continue to grow in popularity.