Britain goes one week without coal power for first time since 1882

UK goes a week without coal-fired power for first time

UK completes first coal-free week since Industrial Revolution

Britain has gone a week without burning coal for electricity for the first time since the 19th century.

The Government plans to phase out Britain's last coal-fired power plants by 2025 in a bid to cut carbon emissions.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: "Going a week without coal for the first time since the Industrial Revolution is a huge leap forward in our world-leading efforts to reduce emissions, but we're not stopping there".

"As more and more renewables come onto our energy system, coal-free runs like this are going to be a regular occurrence", Mr Slye said.

Coal now accounts for under 10 per cent of the country's power output. This Easter, it generated 90 consecutive hours of non-coal. By the end of 2018, Britain went over 1,000 cumulative hours without coal-fired electricity generation.

A GW of power will provide enough energy for about 700,000 homes. In a statement to the Financial Times on Thursday, the National Grid's director, Fintan Slye, said he expected the grid to be able to not only hit that target but to run with zero carbon emissions. "Now coal is quickly becoming an irrelevance, much to the benefit of our climate and air quality, and we barely notice it". By the end of that record-breaking period, the British electricity market had gone almost 91 hours without coal.

While there are seasonal factors at play, accounting for the long performed temporary shutdowns of coal plants during lower demand periods in spring, it is worth noting that the first three months of 2019 saw the United Kingdom electricity grid clock up 650 hours of coal-free generation - more than was achieved during the entirety of 2017.

The National Grid believes that by 2025 it will be able to fully operate Britain's electricity system with zero carbon.

National Grid ESO confirmed the landmark had been reached in a tweet at 1:25pm this afternoon, having previously guided that the feat was likely to occur.

"To combat climate change and seize on the opportunities of clean growth, we're phasing out coal entirely by 2025 and building a cleaner, greener energy system". "This will enable new technologies and removes barriers to ever-increasing levels of renewables".

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