The United Kingdom may be in its first full day without coal power in more than a century, its National Grid announced Friday.
“It looks likely that today will be the first ever working day in Britain without #coal since the industrial revolution!” the agency tweeted.
Britain has been phasing out coal, relying more on natural gas and wind power, in a plan to close its plants by 2025. The efforts have thus far resulted in yearly reductions in coal burned, the Guardian reports:
“Coal has seen significant declines in recent years, accounting for just 9% of electricity generation in 2016, down from around 23% the year before, as coal plants closed or switched to burning biomass such as wood pellets.
“Britain’s last power station will be forced to close in 2025, as part of a government plan to phase out the fossil fuel to meet its climate change commitments.
“Hannah Martin, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, said: ‘The first day without coal in Britain since the Industrial Revolution marks a watershed in the energy transition. A decade ago, a day without coal would have been unimaginable, and in 10 years’ time our energy system will have radically transformed again.’ ”
Reuters adds that last year, natural gas accounted for 42 percent of the country’s electricity, with renewable and nuclear energy making up 45.
The country’s grid managed nearly eight coal-free hours earlier this month. Just a little under a year ago, it went 19 hours without consuming the fossil fuel.
Still, a benchmark of 24 hours will mean Britain’s first day without coal-produced electricity since London’s Holborn Viaduct fired up in 1882.
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