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Powering a coal-free future: Is the UK’s coal-free hiatus here to stay?

Author : Simone Bruckner, Managing Director

02 November 2020

Britain passed a significant landmark in June 2020: the nation went for two months without burning coal to generate power. A decade ago, around 40 percent of the UK’s electricity came from coal and, while the recent plummet in demand accounts for some of the success, it isn’t the full story.

Here, Simone Bruckner, Managing Director of Cressall, explains why the country no longer depends on burning coal that has, for so long, been the backbone of Britain’s power.

Britain's new coal-free period has smashed the previous record from June 2019, which lasted for 18 days, six hours and ten minutes. While that hiatus was caused by the unprecedented shutdown of many of the National Grid’s coal-fired power plants, the disruptions in 2020 have been even more remarkable. They are, however, by no means the sole contributor to coal’s decline.

Renewables on the rise

Ten years ago, wind and solar energy made up a meagre three percent of the country’s power mix. In the first six months of 2020, however, renewables were responsible for 37 percent of the electricity supplied to the network – outstripping fossil fuels by two percent.

Read the full article in the November issue of DPA

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