http://www.theactuary.com/news/2016/11/no-coal-burnt-for-electricity-for-first-time-since-1881/ Six Days last qaurter, the UK used ZERO coal for electrical power (it has other uses, 'though)
Their Electric Insights report, released today, shows how nuclear, biomass, hydro, wind and solar power, along with low-carbon imports from France, contributed to 50.2% of electricity in the latest quarter, up from 20% in 2010. In addition, carbon emissions from electricity consumption are at a record low, down a third over a 12-month period, largely due to a sharp decline in coal, with none burnt for almost six days in the last quarter – the first instance of this since 1881. Drax Power CEO, Andy Koss, said: “This report shows Britain’s energy system is changing dramatically and we are seeing real benefits. “Cleaner energy has reached a record high, and carbon emissions from electricity hit a record low. “But there is more to do to make Britain truly low carbon. Additional reliable, affordable, clean energy is needed on the system, along with a focus of getting the balance right. “More intermittent renewables like wind and solar are crucial but they will require more flexible back up, like biomass, to provide homes and business with electricity on demand.” The report shows that for the last quarter, nuclear power provided the largest share of low-carbon energy, generating 26% of the UK’s electricity, followed by wind power (10%), solar (5%), biomass (4%), low-carbon imports from France (4%) and hydro (1%). It was found that Britain now has 26gw of solar and wind installed, a six-fold increase since 2010, while biomass has increased from nothing to 2gw over the same period. The drop in carbon emissions comes after a quarter of Britain’s coal stations were shut down over the last 12 months according to the report, with plants producing just 7% of their maximum capacity in the last quarter, less than half the productivity of solar panels. Report author, Dr Iain Staffell, said: “My work with Drax provided an opportunity to apply my research to cut through the noise and understand Britain’s electricity is changing for the better. ‘We are so used to bad-news stories about the environment, so it is good to see that for once, concrete progress is being made.” However the report warns that volatile power prices should be expected in the future as the UK moves towards more weather-dependent sources, and subsequent supply and demand challenges, with the last quarter witnessing the highest energy prices for several years, and an all-time low.