Tuesday 7 January 2020 12:01 am

UK generated a record 83 days of electricity without coal in 2019

In 2019 the UK recorded 83 days when no coal was used to generate electricity, almost four times as many as in 2018.

The UK’s first fossil free day for electricity came in 2017, when there were only two such days, demonstrating how far renewables generation has come in a short period of time.

Read more: Renewables set to make up half of the UK’s electricity production by 2025

According to new data from climate platform Carbon Brief, last year there were four months in which renewable sources produced more electricity than traditional forms of generation.

In addition, there were 137 days in which electricity generation from renewable sources surpassed that of fossil fuels.

In total, fossil fuel output fell six per cent in 2019, meaning that total generation from fossil fuels has halved since 2010.

Coal production also fell 94 per cent in the last decade, due to government measures to phase out coal-powered electricity by 2025.

Despite the promising figures, Carbon Brief warned that the UK still has a way to go if it is to meet its generation targets.

An additional 100 terrawatt hours of low-carbon generation – roughly 60 per cent of the current total – will be required if the UK is to cut the carbon intensity of its generation to its targeted level by 2030.

The government’s plan for 40 gigawatts of offshore wind production will need to be supplemented by other sources such as solar, onshore wind or nuclear to reach its goal.

Industry body Energy UK welcomed the findings, but echoed warnings that the UK cannot be complacent if it is to reach its net zero targets.

Read more: Coal powered generation set for record fall in 2019

Interim chief executive Audrey Gallacher said: “While these figures show just how much progress the energy sector has made in moving to cleaner sources of power and reducing emissions over the past few years – they are also a stark reminder of how much further and faster we have to go with the net-zero target in place.

She called on the government to release an “Energy White Paper as soon as possible with action and policies that can enable the required investment and innovation to make this happen.”

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