In a Tweet posted on Thursday, the UK’s electricity and gas owner National Grid confirmed that Great Britain had gone over 48 hours without any coal electricity generation, which was further confirmed to play out to be nearly 55 hours in total.
The National Grid Control Room Twitter account keeps a running tally of electricity generation across the United Kingdom, and on Thursday the account boasted that “Great Britain has just gone 48+ hours without any coal generation.”
Great Britain has just gone 48+ hours without any coal generation.
— National Grid Control Room (@NGControlRoom) April 18, 2018
It’s important to note here — especially given some of the reporting of this news — that it was in fact Great Britain, and not the United Kingdom as a whole, which accomplished this record (as confirmed by National Grid UK’s Media Team via email). While this might seem like a matter of semantics, the difference is highlighted by the below map provided by Brilliant Maps.
In the end, Great Britain — which can essentially be narrowed down to the mainland, excluding Ireland — went 54 hours and 50 minutes, spanning 10.25pm on Monday, April 16 until 5.10am on Thursday, April 19, without using coal for power generation. This beats the previous record which was set in October of 2017 of 40 hours without coal generation.
This was backed up by data compiled by news outlet Bloomberg, which reported on Thursday based on analysis of National Grid data (as seen below).
Bloomberg also added that it appears wind turbines made up for the lack of coal generation, something we will likely hear more about in the days to come.