Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Solar Beats Out Coal In UK For 2nd Whole Month Ever

For the second month this year, solar electricity generation beat out coal in the UK across the whole month of July, after doing it for the first time ever in May.

Earlier this year, UK-based Carbon Brief, referring to figures provided by Sheffield Solar, revealed that solar power had generated more electricity during the month of May than coal had. Specifically, solar power in the UK generated an estimated 1,336 GWh of electricity in May, while coal only generated 893 GWh.

This week, Carbon Brief updated its original story with figures that showed solar had once again beaten out coal, this time for the whole month of July, generating an estimated 1,273 GWh of electricity, two-thirds higher than the 778 GWh that coal generated.

chart (2)Total electricity generation from UK solar and coal during calendar months from April 2016, gigawatt hours (GWh). Sources:Sheffield Solar and Gridwatch. Chart by Carbon Brief using Highcharts.

Solar in the UK has steadily been gaining ground, and these generation figures are proof of this fact. Further, in July, the UK Solar Trade Association (STA) revealed that the country’s solar industry broke a new record in June, generating 23.9% of UK electricity demand. With almost 12 GW of solar PV installed across the country, the STA estimate solar is able to power the equivalent of 3.8 million homes.

“The UK has successfully deployed almost 12 GW of solar across the UK, providing nearly 25% during peak generation,” said Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association. “This is what the country and the world needs to decarbonise the energy sector at the lowest price to the consumer. The Government’s adoption of the fifth carbon budget is a good long-term signal in this regard.”

The visible increase in solar levels has been somewhat matched by a decrease in coal-fired power generation across the UK since the start of 2016.

chart (3)Shares of total UK electricity generation met by solar and coal during January to May 2016 (%). Sources: Sheffield Solar and Gridwatch. Chart by Carbon Brief.

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

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.


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


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


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....


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...


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.