Solar power sets new British record by beating coal for a day

The sun provided British homes and businesses with more power than coal-fired power stations for 24 hours last weekend.

While solar power has previously beaten coal for electricity generation over a few hours in the UK, Saturday was the first time this happened for a full day.

Analysts said the symbolic milestone showed how dramatic coal’s decline had been due to carbon taxes, as solar had “exploded” across the UK in recent years.

Solar power installations have surged in the UK over the past two years, driven by incentives and falling costs. The industry says there is now 12GW of electricity-generating capacity, out of the UK’s total capacity of 80-90GW.

The energy secretary, Amber Rudd, said in a major policy announcement last year the UK would phase out coal power by 2025, but both Atherton and Carbon Brief said it was clear that result was already in train well before Rudd made her pledge.

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