Britain Just Ran Entirely on Coal-Free Energy for Nearly Six Days
...for the first time ever
Over 50 percent of the United Kingdom’s electricity has come from low-carbon sources including UK nuclear, imported French nuclear, biomass, hydro, wind and solar for the first time ever.
The new study from energy company Drax, which runs a biomass power stations, found electricity from low-emission sources had peaked at 50.2 percent between July and September – a huge improvement on the 20 percent being produced by the same sources in 2010 – and saw Britain run coal-free for nearly six days in the last quarter.
Nuclear energy provided 26 percent, the largest share of the UK’s low-carbon generation, for the period in question, with renewable energies providing a further 20 percent as they continue to grow in capacity.
While of course nuclear energy also has natural limits which could be a problem in the more distant future, the progress being made is undeniably positive.
The wind and solar instalment in Britain has increased six-fold in the past six years, while biomass has also seen a huge increase.
The report said: “Britain’s electricity was completely coal-free for nearly six days over the last quarter.
"Coal plants have been pushed off the system by competition from gas, nuclear and renewables. 5 May 2016 was a historic day, the first time since 1881 that Britain burnt no coal to produce its electricity.
"Far from being a one-off, this has continued to become the norm over summer."
The news follows on from the declaration that Sweden wants to become the first fossil-fuel free country in the world, Scotland is undergoing somewhat of an energy revolution and the UK Government announced plans that would see Britain’s first coal-fired power stations likely to close by 2025.
Last year saw green energy account for more than half of all electricity capacity for the first time, leading the International Energy Agency to call it a “turning point" for the planet.
The announcement is welcome news particularly in light of Donald Trump’s victory across the pond, which will see America become the only country in the world to have a leader who has actively denied climate change.
Trump has spoken out about abandoning the Paris Agreement, scrapping the EPA and effectively cancelling a lot of the crucial good work done to get the ball rolling towards a cleaner planet by President Obama.
The hope is that rather than following through on Trump’s previous statements, the President-Elect will at least make compromises when in office and the efforts of China or India won’t diminish as a consequence; something that would be a catastrophe for the state of the planet.
As more countries continue to push on with low-emissions energy alternatives though, the technology will only garner more attention and as it continues to gather momentum, one would hope it will progress to the stage where it cannot be ignored.