The UK's about to have its first day without coal since the Industrial Revolution

Emma Haslett
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Wind Turbines Erected Next To Europe's Biggest Coal Powered Power Station
Coal-fired power stations' contributions to the UK's energy mix is falling (Source: Getty)

The UK is about to experience its first day without using any coal power since the Industrial Revolution, according to the National Grid.

The company tweeted this morning that today looked likely to be the first-ever continuous period without coal. The previous record is 19 hours, a National Grid spokesperson said.

The amount of coal the UK uses has been falling steadily since last year, with coal power generation falling to a record low in the second quarter of last year.

Official figures published in September showed coal made up just 5.8 per cent of the UK's power mix between April and June last year, down 20 per cent on the year before.

Meanwhile, the amount of power generated by gas has been steadily rising - during the same period, it produced 45.2 per cent of the UK's energy.

However, the amount of electricity generated by renewables fell, from 25.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2015 to 24.9 per cent in 2016, largely due to bad weather.

Last May the UK hit another milestone when more power was generated from the sun than coal, with solar power producing 1.38 terawatt hours, compared with coal's 0.89 terawatt hours.

In January, wind power took over, generating 11.5 per cent of the UK's electricity in 2016, compared with coal's 9.2 per cent.

The government has committed to closing Britain's eight remaining coal power stations by 2025.

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