New figures released this week in the UK show wind generated more electricity than coal for the first time ever.
According to statistics released by the UK’s electricity and gas utility National Grid, and published by independent data analysts EnAppSys, wind generated 2,290 gigawatt hours (GWh) in the UK in April, while coal only generated 1,755 GWh.
“We’ve reached a historic point where wind energy is outperforming coal,” said RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith. “April was the first month in the UK’s history in which wind provided more of our power than coal. The Government has said that in future our electricity needs to come from nuclear, gas and renewables and the fact that wind has now leapfrogged coal shows that we are delivering on this ambition.”
The news comes only days after the amount of electricity generated from coal in the UK fell to zero several times earlier this month — a low that some experts are suggesting hasn’t happened since the first coal-fired generator opened in London in 1882! Specifically, according to data from BM Reports, coal-fired electricity fell to zero late on Monday the 9th of May through to the early hours of Tuesday morning, and then again for more than 12 hours later that week.
That same week was when solar generated more electricity than coal as well, according to Carbon Brief. Though. the “milestone is largely symbolic,” given that solar has regularly started exceeding coal during the middle of the day, it was yet another nail in coal’s coffin.