The National Grid said that the coal-free period lasted for more than 90 hours before coming to an end in the afternoon of 22nd April 2019. It is the most extended period since the industrial revolution, and it breaks the previous record set of 76 hours and 10 minutes set in April 2018.
The government plans to phase out of Britain’s last coal power plants by 2025 to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases. The director of the operations at the National Grid, Duncan Burt, had stated that it was a huge deal. He had also said that it is all about the hot weather we have seen, so the energy demand is low. There has also been lots of solar power off the panels too.
Burt said that the UK generated a quarter of its energy from solar over the Easter weekend, with similar portions from the nuclear and gas and the rest was imported from Europe. In 2017, Britain went its first full day without coal since the 19th century. According to the National Grid, the coals made up less than 10% of the country’s energy mix last year and would be even lesser in 2019.
However, experts have warned that the power which was generated by coals was mainly being replaced by gas, which was another fossil fuel rather than a renewable energy source. They also said that the reliance on gas made the UK helpless to the notions of international markets and it was not clean enough to meet the UK’s authorised targets to cut greenhouse gas releases.
The law of the 2008 Climate Change Act requires greenhouse gas releases to be reduced by 80% compared with 1990 levels, by 2050.
Climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, Muna Suleiman said: “89 hours of coal-free electricity is great, but let’s make it an all-day every day. Electricity is generated by renewable sources, which 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 prioritise the development of sources such as solar and onshore wind”.