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One of the country’s final remaining coal mines in Bradley, near Durham, will close this week, as the UK moves further towards being coal-free.

The owner of the surface mine, the Banks Group, said Bradley will extract its last coal on Monday 17 August, The Observer reports, two months after its sister site at Shotton in Northumberland ended its own coal production.

Banks Group runs mines in the south of Wales and Scotland, and applied for permission to extend the life of its final mine in England until 2021, but earlier this summer the application was denied.

The Hartington mine in Derbyshire is the last surface mine in England still using its remaining coal reserves, for longer than expected.

A spokesman for the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy said there is no revised date for the Hartington shutdown “immediately available”.

File photo dated 3/7/2015 of solar panels at Kencot solar farm in Lechlade. Solar and wind power generated a 10th of the world's electricity in the first half of this year, a record share for the clean technologies, analysis showed. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday August 13, 2020. The global assessment by climate think tank Ember also showed that coal power had its biggest half-year fall in generation since at least 1990, in the face of growing renewables and a drop in demand caused by Covid-19. See PA story ENERGY Renewables. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Solar and wind power generated a 10th of the world’s electricity in the first half of this year (Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire)

Last year coal-fired power made up just 2 per cent of the UK’s electricity generation, which is the lowest share since the electricity system was first established in 1882.

In mid June 2020, Great Britain broke the record for the longest period of time without burning coal to generate electricity, exceeding over 2 months.

It came to an end on 16 June (10:45pm) making the record 67 days, 22 hours and 55 minutes without using coal to generate electricity, after power plant operator Drax turned on one of its coal units for testing.

Drax has promised to phase out its use of coal by 2021, and now only has two coal units at the site after converting four to run on biomass; National Grid, which operates the supply of power across the country, is aiming to run the grid on zero carbon power by 2025.

Last week a 55-day coal-free streak came to end after the UK’s record breaking heatwave caused wind speeds to slow and made gas-fired power plants less efficient too.