Britain has been kept powered without any domestic coal generation for more than three days in a row, setting a new record for the second time this month.
The latest run, lasting around 75 hours, began at 11am on Saturday morning and ended this afternoon (24 April) at 2pm, according to figures published on Drax’s electric insights website.
A National Grid spokesperson, said: “Britain has clocked up over 72 consecutive hours without the need for coal powered generation.
“The record comes just days after the first ever two-day period where power generated from wind and gas dominated the mix of energy meeting the needs of electricity users across England, Scotland and Wales.”
Only last week, Britain went for 55 hours without burning any coal to generate electricity, and in April last year saw its first full coal-free day since the onset of the industrial revolution.
Coal generation over recent days
Source: Electric Insights, Drax. Figures from Elexon and National Grid.
The UK’s hefty carbon price has led to a spate coal plant closures in recent years, including Rugely, Longannet and Ferrybridge. Eggborough is due to shut in the autumn after failing to secure an agreement in the latest T-1 capacity auction.
Those that remain face stringent emissions limits or constrained operating hours under the EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive. The UK government has pledged to phase out all unabated coal generation by 2025, and alongside Canada launched the Powering Past Coal alliance last year to persuade other countries to end their reliance on the fossil fuel.
Aurora Energy Research has warned that the carbon price freeze announced in the autumn budget will likely lead to a resurgence of coal generation during the early 2020s.