Solar Now Generates More Power Than Coal Plants – Fossil Fuels Are Dead

For a number of years now coal has been considered one of the most reliable sources of energy, even though it threatens some of our most basic needs – clean water, air and a safe climate.

But over the last six months solar panels have generated more power in the United Kingdom than coal plants, showing that renewables can reign supreme.

So could the incessant burning of detrimental fossil fuels soon be over?

Solar panels in Nepal (Photograph: Rob Goodier / Engineering for Change)

April 9 was the first-ever day solar beat coal. May was the first-ever month, and the period from June to September was the first-ever quarter.

Six months later and this solar revolution appears to be unstoppable.

From April to September solar panels generated 6,964 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, according to reports from the Carbon Brief website.

This met over five percent of the UK demand, and was almost 10 percent higher than the amount of electricity generated by coal.

Solar generation is bound to peak during the sunnier Summer months but in-depth analysis does reveal a shift in trends concerning the energy mix.

There has been a spike in the number of solar panels sold across the UK over the course of 2015. In this same timeframe coal-fired power stations have continued to close.

Eight million solar panels (Photograph: Jamey Stillings via Flickr)

This was in-part due to a government pledge to shut all polluting coal plants by 2025 – an initiative to tackle greenhouse emissions, which seems to be working.

Fossil fuels now produce a lot less power than they once did and Carbon Brief believe this to be associated to the rise of available renewables and the fall of overall power demands.

This Spring the amount of electricity generated by coal even fell to zero at points for the first time since the 19th century.

And in April more power came from wind turbines than it did from coal while solar panels have consistently outstripped coal-fire power stations for the following months.

Gas is still a prominent player in the power game but renewables are looking ever-prosperous.

Even cows are reaping the benefits of solar panel (Photograph: Bart via Flick)

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