Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Air Quality

Solar Energy Tops Coal In UK

For one week, between May 3 and May 9, more electricity was generated by solar energy than coal in the UK. In April of this year, the same was true for two days, but not for a full week. On the two days in April, coal generated 3% of electricity, but solar generated 4% on one and 6% on the other.

800px-Birmingham_Skyline_from_Bartley_Green
The policy editor for Carbonbrief.org tweeted the information showing solar surpassing coal for the week in May.

Of course, the greater solar generation is due to more solar installations, but a decrease in coal use is also a contributor. “The economics of coal have deteriorated dramatically over the last 18 months. Coal-power plants are now heavily loss-making, and the reason is low wholesale prices… [and] what’s really hit coal is the increase in the carbon tax, the move from £8 to £18 under the carbon floor price floor last year, which really hurt them and flipped the economics over from barely profitable to loss-making,” said Peter Atherton, an analyst at Jefferies International bank. In 2016, coal has generated less than 10% of the UK’s electricity and it could actually be phased out by 2025.

It is great news that coal has fallen off to the point where solar generation is capable of surpassing it, but government cuts to solar support have resulted in a decrease in home solar installations. The Guardian reported that for February and March of 2016, 21 MW of small solar was installed in the UK, but for the same months in the previous year that total was 81 MW.

Burning coal is not only bad for the environment, as it contributes to the premature deaths of many people.

“We can now see that British power plants are responsible for very substantial emissions of classic air pollutants – nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides – and for the average European, that translates into more chronic illnesses like bronchitis, heart disease and asthma, and more premature deaths,” explained Julia Huscher, who works with the Health and Environment Alliance.

Image Credit: JimmyGuanoCC BY-SA 3.0


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JakeRsol

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Autonomous Vehicles

There’s a chance that self-driving vehicles will be allowed on the roads in the UK by the end of this year, the BBC reports....

Cars

The UK saw plugin electric vehicle market share at 13.25% in April 2021, with full electrics at a healthy 6.5% despite recent cuts in...

Aviation

Originally published on Transport & Environment. By Eoin Bannon The UK is responsible for the THIRD highest amount of CO2 emissions from aviation globally...

Clean Transport

Originally published on Transport & Environment. By Eoin Bannon This press release is available in English, Italian, and Polish. Truck makers and environmentalists have joined forces...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.