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The UK is bringing forward its target to end coal use in electricity generation by one year, to October 2024 as part of its aim to lead the world in tackling climate change, the government said on Wednesday.
“Today we’re sending a clear signal around the world that the UK is leading the way in consigning coal power to the history books and that we’re serious about decarbonising our power system so we can meet our ambitious, world-leading climate targets,” Energy and Climate Change Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said in a statement.
Over the past decade, the UK has significantly cut the share of coal-fired power generation in its energy mix, while renewable energy sources, especially wind, have dramatically increased their share of the country’s electricity supply.
Government data shows that coal accounted for only 1.8 percent of the UK’s electricity mix in 2020, compared with 40 percent almost a decade ago.
The plan to end coal power by October 2024 means that within just 10 years, Great Britain will have reduced its reliance on coal for electricity from around a third to zero, the government said.
Last year, the UK went without coal-fired electricity for 5,000 hours and had a 67-day streak of no coal being used for power generation in the spring of 2020.
At the same time, wind power set a new record earlier this year, when wind held just over a third of the country’s electricity generation.
The UK will aim to become a global leader in offshore wind energy, powering every home in the country with wind by 2030, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in October last year.
Former UK business secretary Alok Sharma, who is now president for this year’s global climate summit COP26 in Glasgow, said last month that the world needs to ditch coal in order to tackle climate change and save the planet.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,