Britain has first coal-free day since Industrial Revolution

  • Video report by ITV News North of England Correspondent Damon Green

Britain has seen its first full day without generating any electricity from coal for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.

It is the first time the country has been been without electricity from coal since the world's first centralised public coal-fired generator opened at Holborn Viaduct in London, in 1882.

As the most polluting fossil fuel, coal has seen a significant decline in recent years, accounting for just 9% of electricity production in 2016 and down from around 23% the year before, as coal plants close or switch to burning biomass such as wood pellets.

The electricity grid has been coal-free for a number of times since last spring, as gas and renewables such as wind and solar play an increasing role in providing the country with power.

However the longest continuous period until now was 19 hours - first achieved on a weekend last May, and again on Thursday.

As part of efforts to cut carbon emissions in the UK, the Government has pledged to phase out coal by 2025.

The Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire was the last coalmine to close in the UK, in 2015. Credit: PA

Claire Spedding from National Grid, told ITV News: "We've seen a increasing amount of renewable generation providing electricity for GB, and Government policy is moving us towards a low-carbon economy."