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Britain breaks coal-free power record over Easter weekend



Sunny weather over the long weekend has not just led to record-breaking temperatures across the UK, it’s also allowed the National Grid to ease off on coal-fueled power.

In fact the UK’s power supply was entirely coal free for over 90 hours and 45 minutes - ending on Monday afternoon.

The UK went 90 hours without coal fired power for the first time since the industrial revolution
(Image via Pixabay)

This is Britain’s longest coal-free period since the industrial revolution. The previous record was set in April last year at just 76 hours and 10 minutes.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Duncan Burt, director of operations at the National Grid, called it “a really big deal”.

“It’s all about the sunny weather we’ve been seeing, so energy demand is low. There has been lots of lovely solar power off the panels too.”

Over a quarter of the UK’s energy came from solar over the Easter weekend. Roughly the same amount was generated by both nuclear and gas.

This marks a significant step towards the government’s target to phase out all domestic coal power by 2025. It wasn’t until April 2017 that the country went a single day without coal since the 19th century. 

Last year coal made up less than 10% of the UK’s energy mix, with the National Grid predicting similar levels in 2019.

In the first three months of this year the UK generated 650 hours of coal-free energy - an achievement notable for taking place in winter, when demand for power is higher.

Climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, Muna Suleiman, commented on the record: “[90 hours] of coal-free electricity is great but let’s make this all day every day.

“Electricity generated by renewable sources is a key part of the fight against climate chaos so it’s time to remove all the blockers to renewable energy. 

“The government must prioritise the development of sources such as solar and onshore wind.”

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Britain breaks coal-free power record over Easter weekend - Time to read 2 min
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