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ClientEarth Communications

21st April 2017

Clean energy
Fossil fuels
Renewable Energy

Prepare the grid for new energy era, say lawyers, as UK sees longest coal-free stint yet

The UK will experience 24 hours without using coal to generate electricity on Friday, National Grid has predicted. This is a first since the late 19th century and builds on shorter coal-free stints in 2016.

Environmental lawyers ClientEarth have used the milestone to call for infrastructure to support the changing energy system.

ClientEarth’s CEO James Thornton said: “Today is testament to clean energy’s expanding role in the market and another reminder that we should not be fixating on natural gas as a stop-gap.

“The government has signalled unequivocally that we are moving on from our toxic relationship with coal. But we will see the end of UK coal before the 2025 deadline and the government must pave the way for the transformation."

What's going to prompt the change?

Thornton explains: "Coal will be priced – and innovated – out of the market by a strong carbon floor price and a surge in clean technology. Market leaders are taking strides in efficiency, storage and smart technologies that regulate demand.

“Coal may have powered the Industrial Revolution but today’s energy leaders are the low-carbon innovators. Clean energy visionaries will win the race.”

A report from the Green Alliance this week highlighted the disruptions the UK faces if measures are not taken swiftly by the government to prepare the grid for decentralised, diverse clean energy production.