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UK May Have 24 Hours Without Coal Power

UK May Have 24 Hours Without Coal Power

The U.K. has steadily tried to reduce its reliance on the most-polluting of fossil fuels by increasing the use of natural gas and alternatives such as wind.

Carbon Brief's policy editor Simon Evans explained that the UK's electricity generation from coal was so far down 36% in 2017 versus 2016.

Hannah Martin, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, said the first day without coal in Britain since the Industrial Revolution "would mark a watershed in the energy transition".

"There are still challenges and opportunities ahead".

If Britain goes without coal for the whole day, it is thought it will be the first time it has been without electricity from coal since the world's first centralised public coal-fired generator opened at Holborn Viaduct in London, in 1882.

Now let's see if we can keep it at zero.

"The government has signaled unequivocally that we are moving on from our toxic relationship with coal". However, this begs the question what will replace that coal in the power generation mix? But that has never happened for a full day since Britain started relying on coal power stations. The reason for this is that there is considerable uncertainty over the future role of gas in United Kingdom power generation.

"The reason for this is that there is considerable uncertainty over the future role of gas in United Kingdom power generation". A study by UKERC on the future role of natural gas in the United Kingdom highlights the complexities surrounding the role of gas in the ongoing low carbon transition. However, the future trajectory of the UK's energy mix is constrained by the 2008 Climate Change Act and its commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent over 1990 levels by 2050.

Chief executive James Thornton said: "Today is testament to clean energy's expanding role in the market and another reminder that we should not be fixating on natural gas as a stop-gap". This requires the nearly total decarbonisation of the energy system. Last year, three of the country's coal power plants closed or were converted to wood chip burning, while the remaining six are scheduled to shut up shop by 2025.

"The second path is to "decarbonise" natural gas itself, but using methane to produce hydrogen requires CCS and the other options - biogas and biomethane - are unlikely to provide a large-scale solution".


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