Today is the first day since the industrial revolution that the UK won’t generate any electricity from coal.
According to an announcement from the control room at the National Grid the UK’s energy mix is set to be coal-free for the next 24 hours for the first time in 135 years.
The last coal-fired power station stopped running at 11pm last night, the HuffPost reported, thanks to low energy demand and the availability of alternatives.
Jon Ferris of Utilitywise said although today may be the first coal-free day, it won’t be the last: “At this time of year, there is sufficient reserve capacity from operating natural gas power plants to provide flexibility to cope with the variability in renewable generation.”
As a result, operators are able to turn off coal-fired power stations, knowing they can still meet the country’s electricity requirements.
Hannah Martin, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, added that the news would have been unimaginable a decade ago: “It is a clear message to any new government that they should prioritise making the UK a world leader in clean, green, technology.”
The government unveiled plans in November to phase-out coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, with the last coal-fired power station set to be forced to shut in 2025.