Britain Has Broken Its Record For Longest Period Without Coal Power

It's "a really big deal."

The National Grid power company says that Britain went 90 hours without using coal-powered electricity over Easter weekend, the longest coal-free period in the country's history.


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Britain had previously announced plans to shut down all of its coal power plants by 2025. It has been replacing the coal-powered electricity by gas and renewable energy sources, according to the BBC. Last year, coal was responsible for just five percent of Britain's energy production, according to New Scientist.

"It's all about the sunny weather we've been seeing, so energy demand is low," Duncan Burt, National Grid's director of operations, told BBC Radio 5 Live. "There has been lots of lovely solar power off the panels too."

The UK is still hoping to phase out reliance on gas and amp up its renewable use, but Burt told the BBC the news was "a really big deal." With an expansion of solar and wind power in the UK, it could reach its goal of phasing out coal by 2025 and set the example for how other countries can find alternatives to producing electricity. Renewables accounted for a third of the energy Britain used last year, according to Carbon Brief, and if it wants to hit its 2025 goal it needs to raise that to 50 percent.

Muna Suleiman, a climate change activist at Friends of the Earth, said the coal-free streak was good but more needed to be done.

"Electricity generated by renewable sources is a key part of the fight against climate chaos so it's time to remove all the blockers to renewable energy," she told the BBC. "The government must prioritize the development of sources such as solar and onshore wind."

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