Power and Energy Evolving: UK's first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution

On Friday 21st April 2017, for the first time since 1882, Britain went without coal power for a full 24-hour period.

Instead, the National Grid was able to source 100% of electrical power from gas, nuclear and carbon free renewables such as wind power and solar.

This was due to low power demand and the increase in alternative power sources linked up to the grid, and was coincidentally the day before Earth Day.

As we move to the next phase of energy generation, coal is still a very important source of power. 9% of our electricity was from coal in the past year, although this is down from 23% in 2015, signalling a change in power generation for the UK.

In the coming years, coal-free days will become more common. In fact, the Government has said all coal power will be phased out by 2025, by which time the next wave of nuclear power stations will be poised to supply much of the country’s energy needs. The currently under construction Hinkley Point C is designed to generate 7% of our electricity alone.

Nuclear aside, the energy supply mix of the UK is becoming increasingly diverse.

Along with fossil fuels of old such as coal and gas, we also source power from woodchip-burning biomass plants, carbon free green energy from offshore wind, onshore wind, solar, and perhaps soon even tidal power via the proposed tidal lagoon power generation scheme in Swansea.

As society responds to the changes to our environment, the power and energy climate itself is changing. However, we’ll always need power, and thus skilled professionals to design, build and manage the processes and facilities that generate it.

If you have skills in power and energy, be it fossil fuels, nuclear or renewable, get in touch with us to discuss the projects we’re helping to find skilled staff right now.

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