Coal free and beyond: The changing face of UK energy
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A landmark event recently occurred which hadn’t been achieved since Queen Victoria sat on the throne and the Industrial Revolution began. This spectacular event was the first time the UK energy supply went coal-free for a full week.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Social Energy
A few weeks after a Climate Crisis was declared, the UK powered itself without coal for eight days, one hour and 25 minutes (the longest coal-free run for Britain since 1882). Such a ground-breaking achievement shows that the country can transition from its reliance on Fossil Fuels that heavily pollute the atmosphere, to increased reliance on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
Two weeks ago, the Committee on Climate Change issued a report that called for the UK to aim to achieve a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This news comes amid heightened concerns about the impact of Fossil Fuels on public health, with reports of highly polluted air causing an increase in asthma, and even deaths. One thing is for sure though - the first coal-free week for the UK in over a century is an incredible step towards achieving these goals more quickly. At 1.24pm on 1st May, the last coal generator came off the system, which meant that as of 1.24pm on Wednesday 8th May the UK had reached 168 hours without the use of coal, according to reports from the National Grid Electricity System Operator. That number rose to 193 hours and 25 minutes before the UK’s coal-free run ended.
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