The UK has gone one week without coal being used to generate electricity for the first time since 1882, according to the National Grid Electricity System Operator. The milestone was marked at 1.24pm on Wednesday 8 May, the time the last coal generator went offline a week previously.

Coal-fired power stations are still a part of the UK’s energy generation mix as a back-up during periods of high demand. The UK first went a day without using coal in power generation in April 2017.

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy tweeted: “The UK has broken its record and gone a whole week without using coal for power, over 1,000 total hours so far this year! We’re phasing out coal entirely by 2025 and on a path to become the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I am proud that Britain has gone a record week without using coal to generate power. Our investment in greener forms of energy is reducing emissions and ensuring we leave our planet in a better state for the next generation.”

Wind energy company Ørsted tweeted: “Boom! The coal-free record streak stretches to a week, that’s a whole 7 DAYS! We’re wondering if Craig David should mark the milestone with an updated verse to celebrate.”

The UK has halved electricity generation emissions since 2013 due to its reduced use of coal, according to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The committee also called for the UK to aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.