The United Kingdom was able to reach a state of being coal-free from April 10th till May 8th. This period was the longest coal-free period since 1886 in the UK for 28 days and counting. This record was accompanied by another record which was the highest amount of Solar Energy production in the country’s history. Solar Energy produced by solar farms was equal to 9.6 GW of electricity.
The lockdown in the UK has caused energy demand to fall drastically. This has caused low-carbon energy sources to have a larger share in the energy system than usual. According to the national grid, they might even have to shut some power plants down (including wind farms) to avoid overloading the electricity grid.
This record comes almost three years after the grid first ran coal-free power for 24 hours for the first time. This has caused all except four of the biggest of the UK’s coal power plants to shut down before the government ban on coal generation in 2025. The usage of coal has dramatically decreased in the energy mix. It has fallen from a quarter of the shares four years ago to 2.1% of the country’s total power mix last year. Reducing the usage of coal has caused a massive decrease in carbon emission in the energy sector. Since 2012 carbon emission has decreased more than two-thirds, from 507g of CO2 to 161g, and made the UK’s national Grid cleaner year by year.
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