The decline of the mining industry is a topic that we keep a close eye on here at Jordans.
The country uses less coal year on year and its usage has dropped to an all time low following this summer’s heatwave and the increase in renewable energy production.
In June of this year, fossil fuels accounted for less than 1% of the county’s electricity production for the first ever time. There was in fact a period of 12 days when it dropped down to 0% – showing signs of what the future holds for coal production, with some saying that we are moving closer to entirely coal-free summers.
The unusually long and intense heatwave that the country faced this summer has led to a surge in solar panel electricity generation and this has meant we have created as much coal-free energy this year as in 2016 and 2017 combined. Generally, coal usage was only needed during night times in May and June to ensure that electricity production remained balanced.
But does this mean the end of coal production is now here?
For the time being, the answer is no as renewable energies and nuclear power have not increased as quickly as hoped in order to plug the gap left by coal.
In terms of renewable energies, they are of course heavily dependant on the weather and although solar panel generation is at a high following this summer the country has suffered a wind drought due to high pressure weather, meaning less energy produced by wind farms and turbines. Of course, if summers keep up in the same fashion then it may mean more energy is required to keep us cool in the future. Likewise, let’s not forget the ‘Beast from the East’ earlier in the year either and the demand for energy that this created also. In terms of Nuclear Power, a large majority of stations are likely to close by 2025 due to safety reasons and the sector has not developed as quickly as was hoped.
So, for the time being coal production is still clearly needed, but with the Government’s commitment to move towards a greener country, it is likely that there will be more focus on producing non-coal energy in summers to come.
Here at Jordans we have a specialist team looking into miners who suffered from Vibration White Finger due to their time working for British Coal and other mines. If you previously used a solicitor to make a claim for you, they could well have under-settled your claim and we are happy to investigate this for you free of charge. If you would like to speak to a member of the team then call us on 03303 001103 today.