UK Top News

UK set for first coal-power free day in over a century – National Grid

FILE PHOTO: The sun rises behind Fiddlers Ferry coal fired power station near Liverpool, northern England, December 15 2008. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is set for its first day without electricity generation from coal-fired power stations since the country’s industrial revolution in the 19th century, power grid operator National Grid said on Friday.

Coal-power generation has dipped to zero at points in Britain over the past few years but Friday is likely to mark the first continuous 24 hour period, National Grid said in a tweet.

Britain plans to close coal-fired power plants by 2025 as part of efforts to meet its climate target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared with 1990 levels by 2050.

Falling power prices and a tax on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have also made it increasingly uneconomic to run coal plants, especially when wind and solar power production are high.

Around 50 percent of Britain’s electricity will be generated by gas-fired power plants on Friday, with 18 percent coming from nuclear plants and almost 14 percent from wind farms, National Grid data showed.

Coal-fired power plants emit almost double the amount of CO2 (a heat trapping gas blamed for global warming) as gas-fired power plants.

Reporting By Susanna Twidale; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle