UK coal continues to drop off with 135-year low

Last month, coal power made its lowest contribution to the UK’s electricity grid in 135 years. That’s according to new data from Aurora Research, which suggests the carbon-intensive fuel contributed […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Last month, coal power made its lowest contribution to the UK’s electricity grid in 135 years.

That’s according to new data from Aurora Research, which suggests the carbon-intensive fuel contributed only 2% to the total energy mix during July.

Meanwhile, gas-fired power made up 40% of Britain’s energy, with nuclear power accounting for 32% and renewables making up around 18%.

During the same period last year, coal made up 4% of all generation and in July 2015, its share was as high as 22%.

The analysts suggest its current steep decline could continue by falling further still in August.

Across the whole of 2016 the energy source made up an average 9% of electricity generation, down heavily from an average of 23% across 2015.

Richard Howard, Aurora Energy’s Head of Research, said: “The decline in coal in recent years is partly as a result of higher carbon prices and partly the growth in renewables.

“In August, coal load factors have been even lower than in July and the trend is continuing.”

The Coal Authority has now installed solar panels across its estate.