Comment on UK’s first coal-free week

Published:08 May 2019

Commenting on the news that Britain has for the first time gone an entire week without coal powering its electricity system [1], Dr Jonathan Marshall, Head of Analysis at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said:

Comment on UK’s first coal-free week

"Yet another new record for a coal-free power grid further buries the notion that moving away from the most polluting fuels will see the lights go off. Outdated warnings that cutting carbon from our power system would lead to blackouts have been comprehensively proven to be incorrect. In fact, energy bills are falling and emissions are coming down while low-carbon generation continues to go from strength to strength.

“However, to keep the records rolling in, the Government needs to ensure that the low-carbon pipeline does not run dry. A slowdown in solar installations and the grounding of new onshore wind capacity has put all of our eggs in the offshore wind basket. While the costs of offshore wind have plummeted, it is not sensible to rely on a single source of power. The Government has itself admitted itself it needs to speed decarbonisation, so finding a way to boost onshore renewables and nuclear power generation should be an urgent priority.”