UK has first week without burning coal for electricity

FILE - In this Tuesday July 11, 2006 file photo, a vessel sails towards a wind farm off the coast of Whitstable on the north Kent coast in England. Britain has gone a week without burning coal for electricity for the first time since the 19th century. Power operator National Grid says on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 coal hasn't contributed to the U.K. electricity mix since the afternoon of May 1. The landmark has been reached two years after Britain had its first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution. (AP Photo/David Bebber, file)

LONDON — Britain has gone a week without burning coal for electricity for the first time since the 19th century.

Power operator National Grid says coal hasn't contributed to the U.K. electricity mix since the afternoon of May 1.

The landmark was reached two years after Britain had its first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution.

Fintan Slye, director of National Grid Electricity System Operator, said Wednesday that coal-free power would become the "new normal" as Britain generates more power from wind, solar and other renewable sources.

The U.K. also relies heavily on natural gas and nuclear energy.

The government says Britain will eliminate coal from its power supply by 2025. It has set a deadline of 2050 to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions altogether. Environmentalists say that is not soon enough.

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