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UK power plants just went five days without burning any coal



It’s happened – the UK has gone for a record breaking 4 days without the need to use coal powered energy to generate electricity.

On May the 6th, the National Grid announced that British residents have made it a 117 hours without the need for fossil fuel – the number is still rising.

It’s a pretty big feat considering the last attempt lasted only 99 hours without coal power – a feat which occurred over the Easter weekend.

The Independent reported that this is the first time since 1882 that the UK has been powered for so long without the need for coal , a time when the first coal fired power station was opened to the public.

The burning of coal has been recognized as one of the world’s largest contributors to climate change, thus the Government has planned to phase out the last of the UK’s coal power plants by the latest 2025, hoping to cut greenhouse gases tremendously.

The BBC has mentioned that the previous highest record set in past years was in April 2018, when Britain went 76 hours and 10 minutes without the use of coal power.

Prior to that, April 2017 marked when Britain went its first full day coal free since the 19th century. This just shows that it’s not only possible to cut back – its already happening.

Coal only made up 10% of Britain’s energy requirements last year and will surely be even less in 2019, according to the National Grid. Experts have however warned that a large percentage of power that was reliant on coal is now sourced from gas – another fossil fuel, which could also be considered a hindrance vs renewable resources.

Experts also came forward mentioning that gas is not clean enough to meet the UK’s legal targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80%by 2050, when compared to 1990 levels.

As per the BBC, Muna Suleiman, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:

“89 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 prioritize the development of sources such as solar and onshore wind.”

Britain has already gone an accumulative time of 1000 hours without coal in 2019, looking to break all previous records.

Definitely a step in the right direction, let’s hope to see other countries following suit.

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