Positive Steps towards a Coal-Free Future19th May 2020 / Posted by Abby McDougall
Despite these challenging times, there is some positive news. On Sunday 10th May, the UK achieved its first coal-free month since the Industrial revolution. This significant milestone can be attributed to a fall in demand for electricity during the Covid-19 lockdown, alongside a rise in renewable sources helped by favourable weather conditions.
The previous record was set last year, with the UK achieving 18 days, 6 hours and 10 minutes without coal contributing to the fuel mix in May 2019. Solar generation also set new records in April this year, helped by the ‘record-breaking’ sunshine experienced across the UK. Energy supplier Drax confirmed that during this coal-free month, low carbon energy sources provided around 70% of the UK’s power. This progress offers optimism for a future grid no longer dominated by fossil fuels. The UK has committed to shutting down its last remaining coal plants by 2025, and to reducing CO2 emissions to net-zero by 2050. As of 15th May, UK coal-fired power plants remain switched off, according to the National Grid.