UK solar beats coal over whole month for first time

Solar produced more electricity than coal in the UK in May – the first ever month to pass the milestone. That’s according an analysis by Carbon Brief, which reveals solar […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Solar produced more electricity than coal in the UK in May – the first ever month to pass the milestone.

That’s according an analysis by Carbon Brief, which reveals solar generated around 1.3GW of power last month – 50% more than the 893GWh output from coal.

The findings follow news solar beat coal for the first full day in April this year.

The increase in solar generation was due to a combination of low coal production and the impact of longer days, the analysis adds.

Solar and coal electricity-01

The renewable source produced nearly 6% of the UK’s electricity needs in May compared to less than 4% for coal.

In January, the figures were 1% for solar and 17% for coal.

The analysis states: “There has been a huge reduction in coal-fired power generation in the UK since the start of 2016. Nearly a quarter of electricity generation in 2015 was from coal but since the power market economics have shifted in favour of gas and several coal plants have opted to close.”

The government has pledged to close all unabated coal-fired power stations by 2025.