Solar generates 50% more than coal in record-breaking month

The UK solar industry hit another huge milestone in May, generating more power than coal for the first time over a full calendar month.

Estimates from Sheffield Solar, the leading scientific data resource for photovoltaics in the UK, show that the 1,336GWh produced by solar defeated the 893GWh generated by coal by some 50% in May.

This achievement came hot on the heels of other record-breaking figures in recent weeks, after solar trumped coal for the first full day on 9 April and for the first week from 3 May.

Industry leaders have hailed the latest statistics as a victory for long-term economic and environmental protection.

A spokesperson for the Solar Trade Association said: “This is great news and an impressive milestone, but it’s also simply a sign of the times. In 2016 solar is breaking record after record both here in the UK and around the world. We now have more than 10GW of solar PV installed in the UK and we hope this will continue to rise as we move away from coal towards a smart, clean energy future.”

The significant change in figures is because of a low coal output and lengthened daytime as summer approaches its peak. There has been an increase in the total energy yielded in solar power from 1% in January upwards to 6% in May. Alongside this rise in solar, coal power has plummeted down to zero, a record unbroken since the 19th century.