Breaking the previous record set in April of 90 hours and 45 minutes of coal-free energy over the Easter weekend, the UK has now produced coal-free energy for one week straight. The National Grid revealed that the UK has been coal free for 168 hours, this is the longest run without coal since 1882.
The milestone was reached as the country’s Environment Agency issued a stern warning about coastal communities under rising threat of floods due to climate change. Coal generation in the UK is decreasing and with the government committing to shutting down all coal plants by 2025, the UK is relying more on renewable energy generation.
According to a performance report by the National Grid ESO, renewable energy capacity has tripled in the past five years. With oil and gas companies such as BP and Shell investing into green energy, it is no surprise that renewable energy generation in the UK is increasing.
Coal contributed 5 per cent of the UK’s energy generation in 2018, and is set to be phased out by 2025. Gas provides the biggest share of the UK’s energy at the moment, with 39 per cent, but must fall below 25 per cent of the total by 2030 if the country is to meet its legally binding climate goals. Globally, carbon emissions from energy use have risen for two years in a row, despite strong growth in renewable energy generation.
The pollution from burning fossil fuels for energy is a leading cause of global warming. And the most polluting fossil fuel is coal. But a Coal Free future with clean air and water and renewable energy is possible.
But this is a welcome development as the UK is setting example for the rest of the world on the possibility of coal free energy.