Solar energy beats coal over past six months

Solar panels on house roof

Energy generated by solar panels exceeded that produced by coal-fired powered stations in the UK in the six months to September. A ten-week stretch of solar outstripping coal began on July 1st.

According to analysis from Carbon Brief, the UK's solar panels produced an estimated 6,964GWh of electricity from April to September, equivalent to 5.2 per cent of the country's electricity demand for that period. This figure is almost ten per cent higher than the energy generated by coal power stations, which met 4.7 per cent of demand.

On April 9th, UK coal power generation fell to zero – the first time since a public supply of coal-produced electricity began in 1882. This, says Carbon Brief, was due to changes to wholesale energy market price shifts, which has led the government's decision to phase out all unabated coal by 2025.

In a feature by Simon Evans published by Carbon Brief, 2016 seems to be the year for solar in the UK.

"Saturday 9th April 2016 was the first-ever day where more electricity was generated in the UK by solar than by coal. May 2016 was the first-ever month. The three months from June through to September was the first-ever quarter. And now the six months to September is the first half year," it says.

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