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The UK’s first day without coal power

The UK’s first day without coal power


The UK’s National Grid announced that on 21st April it had supplied the country's entire electricity demand without the need for coal generated energy for 24 hours ... the first full day without coal power since the 1880s.


According to the National Grid’s control room twitter feed, the power generation mix for the period was: gas (50.3%), nuclear (21.2%), wind (12.2%), imports (8.3%), biomass (6.7%) and solar (3.6%).


While some will see this as a great day, this is obviously a sad day for the mining industry.


The UK government has plans in place to phase out all coal-fired power plants by 2025, and closed the last of the UK deep coal mines in December 2015. Since then, coal generation has relied totally on imported coal, and contributed just 9% of the UK’s 2016 power generation.


In contrast, President Trump has sworn to “end the war on coal” in the USA and has reversed many of the environmental controls limiting carbon emissions set in place by the previous administration, while also removing support for many of the PV/Green projects. It will be interesting to compare the costs and efficiencies between the two nations in the years ahead.