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UK set to reach landmark of two months without using coal-generated electricity

08 June 2020

June 10 will mark two months since the UK last generated electricity at a coal fired power station – the first time since the country’s first industrial revolution. The National Grid has said that midnight on June 10 would mark 61 days (or 1,464 hours) since the last coal generator came off the system.

Drax power station, North Yorkshire - Image: Drax
Drax power station, North Yorkshire - Image: Drax

The UK introduced the world’s first coal-fuelled power plant in the 1880’s with coal being a key part of the country’s energy mix until recent years. As part of its plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the UK announced in 2015 that its remaining coal fuelled power stations would be shut down by 2025. 
The drop in demand for coal-generated electricity has deteriorated in recent times due to the increasing reliability and cost effectiveness of renewable energy sources. The coronavirus has also seen electricity demand drop considerable, making coal plants increasingly unprofitable, Reuters news agency reports.
The National Grid has said that May was the ‘greenest’ month ever for electricity production in the UK, with the lowest average carbon intensity on record at 143 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour.


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