Coal takes record low monthly share of UK power mix
Coal’s share of the UK power mix averaged just 0.1% in May – the lowest monthly average on record – as the country continued to wean itself off the fuel in favour of gas and renewables.
Gas accounted for more than 45% of the mix last month, up from 43% in May last year, as low prices and ample supply encouraged generators to ramp up output, Balancing Mechanism Reporting Service figures showed.
Wind and biomass were little changed on the year, with their slices pegged at 11% and 8%, respectively.
Nuclear’s portion meanwhile declined to 23%, from 25%.
The UK has taken significant steps to reduce its dependence on coal-fired power generation in recent years, with the aim of closing all unabated plants by 2025.
Much of the country’s coal plant fleet has already closed, or converted to biomass, and it has also become the world’s largest offshore wind market.
Last Friday, Montel reported that Britain’s power grid had run without coal for two consecutive weeks – the longest period since the 1880s.