U.K. goes 1000 hours without using coal

Posted Jul 13, 2018 by Tim Sandle
The U.K. has gone beyond 1,000 hours without using coal. This is a further sign of a reduction with fossil fuel use as well as signal of Britain's green energy shift accelerating.
Belgium's Tihange nuclear power station has been in service since 1974-1975  and was scheduled ...
Belgium's Tihange nuclear power station has been in service since 1974-1975, and was scheduled to be closed in 2015
Eric Lalmand, Belga/AFP/File
At the end of last year Digital Journal reported that the U.K. generated its greatest quantity of energy from renewable resources in 2017. This surpassed all previous records and, in total, renewable energy sources generated over three times the amount of electricity that came from fossil fuels during the year. Now another record has been set: passing 1,000 hours without coal.
The new time-based data shows how the U.K.'s reliance upon fossil fuels continues to decline and how energy sources are being made up from a larger proportion of alternative sources, such as wind power, tidal power and nuclear fuel. As a comparator, 201 in total saw 210 coal-free hours; in 2017 there were 624 hours. This makes 2018's 1,000 hours (or 1,010 at the current count) even more impressive, given that this was achieved in juts over six-months.
Speaking with The Guardian about the latest figures, Andrew Crossland, who is an energy expert who runs the MyGridGB site, explains: “In 2018, Britain saved its coal use for when it needed it most – during the March cold snap. Over the rest of the year Britain’s renewable sector has provided record amounts of electricity, with more than 7.4 percent coming from solar over the past four weeks."
A further sign of the decline in coal is the announcement that a major coal plant in Eggborough, Yorkshire will close in September 2018, with loss of 130 jobs. The owners, Czech power firm EPH, have indicated that the coal plant is no longer economically viable.
In contrast to the decline in coal, energy from renewables supplied 30.1 percent of electricity in the first three months of the year for the U.K. as a whole. Of this, as official government figures show, the biggest contributor was wind power. This was followed by bio-energy, solar power, and hydro-power.