The electrical system of the United Kingdom has recorded in 2020 the greenest year in its history, the National Grid, responsible for the operation of the network, said on Monday with a record in energy renewable and the longest coal-free period since the industrial revolution.
The UK aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which will require a significant increase in its capacity from renewable sources.
“Significant periods of non-coal power generation and record-breaking levels of energy from zero-carbon sources have been key factors … while minimal demand for electricity due to the national lockdown has also contributed, ”the National Grid said.
Measures to contain the spread of the virus had a negative impact on electricity demand in the UK last year.
The country could be supplied without coal for more than 5,147 hours in 2020, up from 3,666 hours in 2019, the National Grid added.
In total, coal supplied 1.6% of UK electricity in 2020, up from 25% five years ago.
The UK plans to shut down its coal-fired power plants in 2024, as part of efforts to meet its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The record for the share of wind power in the grid was also broken several times in 2020, when wind contributed to a record 60% of UK electricity production on August 26.
Solar power is also near a historic milestone, providing one-third of the country’s electricity for several days throughout May, according to the National Grid.