http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/...ime-on-record/ As described in the link above on Monday night between 11pm and 3am no UK coal stations were in operation. At this time of year many stations will have units or whole stations off for major maintenance works. In addition the number of coal and oil stations has dropped dramatically in the last 5 years. But nonetheless some stations are still operating and available as some were operating the next day. What this shows is that generation by coal ceased on Monday night for financial reasons, it was not economic to generate electricity with coal. Many will cheer this news as yet another nail in the coffin of King Coal, I would urge caution. The erosion of profit margin in coal is undermining energy security in a way that won't be reported. Maintenance budgets are down on reduced profitability as are staff numbers. The plant is getting older and the action of turning off a coal station overnight is called "TWO SHIFTING" is quite damaging to the integrity of a coal power station, this is because when these beasts were designed in the 1960’s they were designed to baseload (continuous operation). Two shifting stresses the components hard and uses up fundamental elements of the stations life and exposes the stations to poor control (think over revving) which further causes damage. As of yet we cannot do without coal fired generation in the winter but we are attacking the financial basis of the industry reducing profit which knocks on to reduced maintenance and then operating the plant in a destructive manner. From an engineering perspective we are certainly going to suffer unplanned breakdowns of our coal plants at a higher rate. These plants will only be operating during high demand periods so the breakdowns will occur in high breakdown periods. Our energy security is at risk. Further on in the article it mentions there was a Notification of Insufficient System Margin on the same day that coal plants were not generating. This is a clear sign of system stress. On a wider security of supply basis wind and solar are intermittent and there is no practical way to store large amounts of electricity (hydro power stores only small amounts of emergency or balancing supply). We are now no longer self-sufficient in gas and gas for electricity supply ranks below domestic supply should we run short. Coal stations routinely stored several months worth of generation in coal stocks alongside the station. It is not practical to do that with gas, wind or solar. Our energy security is at risk. Monday night may have been the canary in the mine before the UK lights go out in the next few years, because all of the decisions and economics seem to be pushing us to a less secure future.