Energy & Environment

Britain goes two weeks without burning coal for first time since Industrial Revolution

Greg Nash

For the first time in more than 100 years, Britain has gone two full weeks without coal-powered energy.

The country’s power grid operator, the National Grid Electricity System Operator, confirmed the news in an announcement shared Friday on Twitter.

“We can now confirm that Great Britain’s electricity system will pass the fortnight mark for no coal generation this afternoon!” the network wrote.

“The last coal generator came off the system at 3.12pm on 17th May — meaning we will achieve #coalfreefortnight at 3:12pm today!!” it added.

The achievement arrives more than a century after the world’s first public power station fueled by coal was built in London in the 1880s.{mosads}

The record also comes several weeks after the country sparked headlines for going seven days without coal-powered energy for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.

Coal-free runs are expected to become a regular occurrence for the nation as the country continues its push to reduce carbon emissions, with the aim of being able to operate completely free of coal-powered energy by 2025.

“Just a few years ago we were told Britain couldn’t possibly keep the lights on without burning coal,” Doug Parr, policy director at Greenpeace, said earlier this month. 

“Now coal is quickly becoming an irrelevance, much to the benefit of our climate and air quality, and we barely notice it,” he added.


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