Britain goes coal-free in a historic first

Creative Commons: Minori Karamatsu, 2013

On April 21st, for the first time since 1882, Britain ran for an entire day without any coal power energy. It was a historic moment and significant first step towards the country’s plan to phase out coal power completely by 2025.

Cordi O’Hara, the spokeswoman for the National Grid in Britain accountable for the country’s energy supply, said: “To have the first working day without coal since the start of the industrial revolution is a watershed moment in how our energy system is changing.”

Britain has made significant progress on their coal-free future plan. Two years ago 23% of the country’s energy ran on coal, but last year that number was cut to just six percent.

The country has been making leaps towards renewable energy in recent years, and according to a new report from Renewables UK, Britain exported £2 billion worth of renewable energy in 2016, with that number expected to rise in 2017.

Hannah Martin of Greenpeace UK was one of many environmentalists who welcomed the coal-free day, saying “A decade ago, a day without coal would have been unimaginable and in 10 years’ time our energy system will have radically transformed again.”

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Last updated April 27, 2017