Recently, Britain broke the record of the lengthiest continuous time period without generation of any electric power from coal. According to reports by the National Grid, this coal-free span lasted for greater than almost 90 hours. It ended in the afternoon of Monday. This marked the longest time period ever since the onset of Industrial Revolution. Further, it crossed the previous record that had been set back in April 2018 of a little more than 76 hours.
The U.K. government is planning to gradually do away with the last of Britain’s coal-based power plants come 2025. This move is particularly being adopted to reduce greenhouse gases. The operations director of National Grid, Duncan Burt, in a live conversation with BBC’s Radio 5 termed this incident to be a very “big deal”. He added that it is completely based on the pleasant and sunny weather that they have been witnessing, resulting in low energy demand. Further, a huge quantity of solar power has also been generated from the solar panels.
Back in the month of April, 2017, the country first experienced an entire day free of coal electricity, since back in the 19th century. Last year, less than 10% of Britain’s energy mix was made up by coal. This figure is expected to be lower in 2019, as per National Grid. But, experts have issued a warning regarding coal-generated power being substituted by the equally harmful fossil fuel, gas, instead of eco-friendly renewable sources.
Experts also talked about the vulnerability that the nation might experience due to the oscillation in international markets, in case they become too reliant on gas. Gas is also not eco-friendly enough to be able to satisfy the legal targets of U.K for cutting down on emissions of greenhouse gases. 2008’s Act on Climate Change has made it mandatory for emissions of greenhouse gases to be decreased by 80% by 2050, in comparison to the 1990 levels.