Great Britain Goes 76 Hours Without Using Coal, Breaking Days-Old Record

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Just days after setting a record of 55 hours without using coal, Great Britain has smashed a new record by going a total of 76 hours without any coal generation.

Toward the end of last week, various sources on Twitter were heralding a stretch of nearly 55 hours in which the UK’s electricity grid run by National Grid had failed to need any help from coal generators. Specifically, Great Britain — which can essentially be narrowed down to the mainland, excluding Ireland — went 54 hours and 50 minutes without using coal for power generation, spanning 10:25 pm on Monday, April 16 until 5:10 am on Thursday, April 19.

Fast forward just a few days, and the UK electricity grid has broken that record by going a total of 76 hours and 10 minutes without coal electricity — from Saturday the 21st through to Tuesday the 24th of April.

National Grid UK confirmed on one of its Twitter accounts that the electricity grid — which is restricted to Great Britain (see right), and not Northern Ireland, therefore making the record one for Great Britain and not the United Kingdom — was “currently” at “72 hours and counting of no coal generation on the power network.”

National Grid also added that this was “the first time since the 1880s” that the electricity grid had gone so long “without the need for coal generation.”

In the end, a separate Twitter account tracking hourly coal generation statistics for the National Grid confirmed that the record ran to a total of 76 hours and 10 minutes without coal generation. (Although, as of writing, the same account is tracking 15 continuous hours without coal, so …)

The United Kingdom has been steadily reducing the number of coal power stations across the country, resulting a precipitous decline in coal generation for several years now. The country is expecting to shutter its final coal plant in 2025, a goal many wish their own countries would emulate.

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Joshua S Hill

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.

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