Britain has first week without coal power since 1882

Signal of change / Britain has first week without coal power since 1882

By Jennifer Revell / 09 May 2019

After the last coal generator came off the National Grid Electricity System at 1.24pm on 1 May, Britain has had its first week without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since 1982.

The pressure to increase renewable energy sources and high international coal prices have led to the decrease in fuel usage.

Director of National Grid ESO, Fintan Slye, believes that the UK’s electricity system could run with zero carbon by 2025, far surpassing the current target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Although coal-fired power will still act as backup energy at times of high demand, there is hope that the increasing introduction of renewable energy sources will soon make coal redundant.

 

So what?

This is a significant step towards tackling climate breakdown. CO2 emissions are the number one cause of climate change and their reduction is intrinsic to regaining the health of our planet.

The UK's success towards achieving its targets could pave the way for energy systems in other countries and inspire more action toward a zero carbon emissions planet.

In order for this to become a reality, investment into renewable energy systems must be a priority. Challenges that face building infrastructures such as offshore wind farms and domestic solar panels include increasing consumer participation. This can be overcome by using smart digital systems to control from a distance.

 

Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/08/britain-passes-1-week-without-coal-power-for-first-time-since-1882

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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