by Russell Jones ~ Communications Manager at Mitsubishi Electric
Russell Jones asks whether a whole day of electricity produced without burning a single lump of coal spells out the end of an era for the nation.
Last Friday, 21st April 2017 was a very special day for the UK as the country generated a whole day of electricity without needing to use coal-fired power stations.
This landmark moment is the first working day in since 1882, when the first public coal-fired generating plant opened in London when no coal has been needed to help supply power to the nation – as reported by many news outlets such as the BBC and the Financial Times.
Whilst low demand for electricity in the week after the Easter holiday is quite normal and Friday’s are the day of the working week with the lowest power demand, this move away from what has been a bedrock of the UK’s energy production since the start of the industrial revolution is a real achievement.
This shows how the nation’s energy system is changing to embrace low-carbon electricity production through the use of nuclear, solar panels, wind turbines and a switch from coal to biomass and gas-powered stations.
In 2016, the government reported that it was working to phase out the last coal plants by 2025 in an effort to cut overall carbon emissions.
As we move towards low carbon power generation, renewable technologies such as air source heat pumps become even more viable and attractive.
So it looks like we are really starting to see a greening of the electricity grid which is tremendous news for renewable technologies such as heat pumps, which consume electricity but use it to maximise renewable heating for our homes.
Earlier this year, we produced an infographic looking at the history of home heating so I’m delighted to see that we are starting to enter the last phase of that and set the scene for a low-carbon power generating grid, feeding low-carbon heating systems – all of which will help minimise energy bills for homeowners and aid the country as we strive to meet stringent carbon reduction targets.
We look forward to discussing this more on The Hub over the next few years as we strive to move towards a truly zero-carbon society.
At Mitsubishi Electric, we also love to discuss this topic over on our Green Gateway Twitter page, so please join the conversation.
Russell Jones is PR & Communications Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Living Environment Systems in the UK.