UK has passed 1,000 hours without coal this year

uk wind farm
CC BY 2.0 Ian D

That's compared to 624 in the whole of 2017...

Earlier this year, the UK passed 72 hours without burning any coal. This was an impressive feat, but could it be sustained? Apparently so.

The Guardian now reports that, barely halfway through the year, the country has passed 1,000 hours of coal-free electricity already this year, which is considerably more impressive when compared to the totals of coal-free hours for previous years. (624 in the whole of 2017, 210 in 2016.)

This is hardly surprising, given the UK's achievement of "Victorian Era" CO2 emissions, coupled with the dramatic expansion of renewables (especially offshore wind) over the last decade or so. But just how dramatic the decline has been for coal should serve as a warning for industry and investors alike.

Now the challenge for the UK, as I've previously argued, is to take the success it has had in decarbonizing electricity and not only continue the momentum, but also apply it to other sectors of the economy—most notably transportation, land use and heating. Slashing coal may be the low hanging fruit, but it can serve as an inspiration and a guide post for what can be achieved once a nation puts its mind to it.

UK has passed 1,000 hours without coal this year
That's compared to 624 in the whole of 2017...

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