Britain Abstains From Coal Usage For Two Weeks


Sierra Hurson, Journalist

In the past two weeks, Britain has not used any coal to generate and create electricity. This is the longest time period Britain has gone without using coal since the 1880s. The government entity that manages how electricity is used and generated confirmed that the last time coal was used was on May 17th. The director of the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), stated that “the British record for solar power had also been broken this month.” Slye mentioned that the record Britain broke of abstention from coal usage will be a “new normal” in the country and set a precedent for environmental policy. The UK government is already planning to begin phasing out coal plants by 2025. This will drastically reduce carbon emissions in the country. Slye stated that “as more and more renewables come onto the system, we’re seeing things progress at an astonishing rate.” Britain, with increasing its solar power usage, generated around 25% of its energy from the sun. This is the largest amount to date. The ESO explained that nuclear, gas, solar, and wind energy have been sufficient substitutions when coal is not being used. During the coal use hiatus of two weeks, wind energy comprised of 13% of Britain’s energy supply, gas was almost 40%, and nuclear was 20%, along with other sources. Energy and clean growth minister, Chris Skidmore, says, “The UK has the largest offshore wind capacity on the planet, can generate more than a quarter of our electricity needs from the sun and lst year, more than half of our electricity came from low carbon sources.”