The United Kingdom generated 100% of its power from sources other than coal last Friday. This day made history, the first time since 1882 that the UK had not relied on coal for electricity production for a continuous 24 hours. National Grid spokesman Sean Kemp told the New York Times that this marks “a kind of end of an era.”
Coal consumption has steadily declined in the UK, which has participated in the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol as a member of the EU. Since 2012, two-thirds of Britain’s coal-fired power generating capacity has been closed. In 2012, coal accounted for 40% of electricity production.In 2015, that statistic dropped to 23% and one year later, to 9%. The UK is aiming to phase out coal entirely by 2025. When it does, it will join nearby Belgium, Norway, and Switzerland, and Vermont and Idaho* across the pond, as coal-free power generators.
* We have to drop to state level jurisdictions in the United States, because the US overall still sources 30% of its electricity from coal.