Why April marked the blackest month for coal since Industrial Revolution

29th September 2017 | Commercial Energy

Coal has failed to generate any electricity for an entire month in Britain – for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. The fading power source – that only a few decades ago powered millions of homes and businesses – was completely out of the picture as a UK energy source during April.

In fact, it fell to record lows of just two per cent as an energy source between April and June. The decline of fossil fuels such as coal was hailed as good news for the environment by renewables campaigners.

It came as power from wind farms – both on and off-shore – soared to highs of almost 30 per cent over the same period. Renewables generated almost one third of electricity produced in the UK over three months was from low-carbon sources.

Former Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Tom Greatrex, who’s now the chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said, “The recent energy trends data shows an increase in low carbon generation, with our dependence on fossil fuels diminishing.

“This is good news and shows clearly why a balanced mix of energy sources is good for decarbonisation as well as energy security. With two thirds of the UK’s currently available power due to retire by 2030, including all but one of the current nuclear fleet, the UK will need the full range of low carbon technologies to provide the reliable, secure and readily available power for homes, businesses and public services.”

Low-carbon electricity, which includes renewables and nuclear, accounted for a record 53.4 per cent of generation in the second quarter of 2017, the statistics from the Department for Business and Energy (BEIS) reveal.

The rise in renewables’ share of power, up from 25.3 per cent in 2016 to 29.8 per cent this year, was down to more wind turbines and increased wind speeds, as well as lower overall electricity generation, according to the report.

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