The U.K. has just stated that all of the remaining coal plants will be shut down by 2025. Back in April of this year, Britain went a full 24 hours without using any coal at all. Currently, they use natural gas, nuclear, wind, and solar. Coal only provides backup energy on sunless and wind-free days. But now, coal will become nonexistent
The History of Coal in Britain
In the early 1800s, Britain was producing 80% of the world’s coal. A century later, London was still one of the largest users of coal. It became known as the “Big Smoke” because of the black coal smog that filled the town. British power stations emitted so much pollution that they were killing fish in lakes thousands of miles away in Norway.
The Current State of Energy in Britain
Coal is still prevalent in Britain’s energy system almost two centuries since Britain started using the polluting power source. But in the recent decades, Britain has been a worldwide leader in revolutionizing renewable energy. Britain has designed massive offshore wind farms that can produce 8 MWh of energy each. The price of offshore wind energy is now cheaper than nuclear and gas. Last year, Britain got more energy from wind than coal, which is a first in the country.
British solar produced more power than coal in 2016 from April through September. Their clean power production has only grown since then.
Coal Around the World
This trend to remove coal completely from energy resumes is a worldwide trend, especially in Europe. Coal-power production in the European Union has fallen by 20% in just the last 10 years. According to analysts of the Paris Climate Accord, the EU needs to close all of its coal plants by 2030 to reach the goal. That is in less than 20 years, and they are well on their way.
Overall, renewable energy is becoming a very healthy, viral, and reliable trend. Across the world, countries are seeing the benefits of renewable energy. And Britain is an incredible influence on furthering this trend.