February 5 (Renewables Now) - Britain is set to move forward by a year to 2024 its deadline for phasing out coal, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.
This was announced during the Year of Climate Action launch event ahead of the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow in the light of statistics showing that Britain’s reliance on coal-fired power generation has dropped from 70% in 1990 to around 40% in 2012 and to less than 3% in 2019. The contribution of renewables, meanwhile, is now “at record levels” standing at 33%.
The government’s goal is to bring coal's share to zero, by closing the last coal-fired plant in the country by October 1, 2024. The previous deadline for that was 2025, announced in 2015.
The plan to bring forward the target date for phasing out unabated coal will be subject to a public consultation. It will be undertaken as part of the country’s efforts to decarbonise its power sector as it aims to achieve a net-zero emissions level by 2050.
According to the latest government statistics, the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions have declined by 2.1% between 2017 and 2018 mainly thanks to the wave of coal plant closures. Last year, Great Britain, which now has four active coal generators, went for 3,700 hours, or more than five months in total, without using coal.