For the first time since 1882, the amount of coal-powered electricity fell to zero. This is being hailed as a historic achievement. While coal mining contractors may not revel at this news, it is good news for people who want the UK to move towards green energy.
The UK went without coal-fired power generation for seven days; this happened for the first time on 10th May. Experts believe this is the first time the country has not generated coal-based electricity since the first steam-powered power station opened its doors in 1882.
In lieu of coal-fired electricity, the UK used solar, natural gas and wind sources to help meet its electricity needs. This achievement heralds the much-anticipated shift from fossil fuel-generated power to greener and cleaner power generation.
The Government has made it clear that it would be transitioning from centralised coal-fired power stations to decentralised power stations that used renewables and were environmentally cleaner than the coal-based power stations.
Coal-fired electricity generation in the country has been witnessing a dip. Cheap gas prices, growing demand for renewable power and milder temperatures are some of the reasons for the shift from coal to other greener sources of power.
In April 2016, solar energy-generated electricity was much higher than electricity generated by coal. This was the first time it had happened. Ever since, this has become the norm for daytime power generation. Recently, RenewableUK announced that wind-powered generation had outstripped coal-fired electricity for the whole of April; it delivered 2.3MWhs to the electricity grid, while coal delivered 1.76MWhs.
The Government has pledged that it would phase out coal-fired electricity generation by 2025 as long as gas-powered electricity can meet the shortfall. Falling power prices have made coal plant operations commercially unviable, and this has forced several power stations to shut down sooner than anticipated.