UK coal-free record ends, but was reality TV to blame?


For the first time in just shy of two-and-a-half weeks, on Tuesday 4 June 2019, the UK had to revert to using coal power to meet the country’s energy needs.

The nation’s coal plants were fired up again at 9:20pm, but was a reality TV show to blame?

The country’s record 18 day, six hour and 10 minute coal-free stretch ended at the same time hit TV show Love Island was being screened, drawing massive ratings in the country, but perhaps causing a slight peak in demand sufficient to end the streak.

The 18-day record is the longest continual period where the UK grid has been entirely powered by non-fossil fuels, due to warm weather and the increase in renewables and other forms of electricity on the UK grid.

National Grid ESO tweeted:

The record coal-free period has given many cause for optimism regarding government plans to retire all coal-fired stations by the target date of 2025.