UK Wind Beats Coal in 2016

The UK generated more electricity from wind than from coal in the full calendar year of 2016, Carbon Brief analysis shows.

Image source: DONG Energy

The milestone is a first for the UK and reflects a collapse in coal generation, which contributed just 9.2% of UK electricity last year, with 11.5% from wind. The coal decline saw its output fall to the lowest level since 1935.

In March 2016, coal generation fell to zero for the first time since public electricity supply started in 1882. Wind generated more electricity than coal in April 2016, the first month this had ever happened.

The reduction in coal generation during 2016 was a continuation of several years’ decline, such that output is now down nearly 80% since a 2012 peak.

In spring 2016, three UK coal-fired power stations closed down. The UK plans to close all of its remaining coal plants by 2025.