COAL has failed to generate any electricity for an entire month in Britain – for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.

The fading power source - that only a few decades ago powered millions of homes and businesses - was completely out of the picture as a UK energy source during April.

In fact, it fell fell to record lows of just two per cent as an energy source between April and June.

The decline of fossil fuels such as coal was hailed as good news for the environment by renewables campaigners.

It came as power from wind farms - both on and off-shore - soared to highs of almost 30 per cent over the same period.

Renewables generated almost one third of electricity produced in the UK over three months was from low-carbon sources.

Former Rutheglen and Hamilton West MP Tom Greatrex, who's now the chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: "The recent energy trends data shows an increase in low carbon generation, with our dependence on fossil fuels diminishing.

"This is good news and shows clearly why a balanced mix of energy sources is good for decarbonisation as well as energy security.

"With two thirds of the UK's currently available power due to retire by 2030, including all but one of the current nuclear fleet, the UK will need the full range of low carbon technologies to provide the reliable, secure and readily available power for homes, businesses and public services."

Low-carbon electricity, which includes renewables and nuclear, accounted for a record 53.4 per cent of generation in the second quarter of 2017, the statistics from the Department for Business and Energy (Beis) reveal.

The rise in renewables' share of power, up from 25.3per cent in 2016 to 29.8per cent this year, was down to more wind turbines and increased wind speeds, as well as lower overall electricity generation, according to the report.

Power generated from onshore and offshore wind both rose compared with the previous year, as did energy from biodegradable waste.

Gas generated 41.3per cent of the mix, slightly down on last year, and nuclear accounted for a slightly increased 23.6per cent in the second quarter of the year.

The latest data comes after National Grid revealed that this summer was the "greenest ever" for British power generation, as the share of low-carbon power in the mix rose to 52per cent for the period from June 21 to September 22.

Recent weeks have also seen the price of offshore wind tumble, falling by 50per cent compared with two and a half years ago.

Industry body RenewableUK's executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: "It's terrific to see that nearly a third of the UK's electricity is now being generated by renewables, with wind power leading the way.

"The UK's renewable energy sector is an industrial success story, attracting investment, creating new jobs, and powering our economy.

She urged the Government, which has moved to prevent new onshore wind farms being developed, arguing they "often fail to win public support", to rethink its stance on the technology.

"Onshore wind performed particularly well, with generation increasing by 50per cent compared to the same period last year.

"Onshore wind is the cheapest form of new power plant, so it plays an absolutely crucial role in keeping consumer bills down.

"When the Government holds the next set of competitive auctions for contracts to generate electricity, low-cost onshore wind deserves the chance to compete."

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said: "These latest figures underline that renewable energy is now an integral part of our energy mix, supporting our view that future investment must support a variety of different technologies.

"As the recent offshore wind auction shows, the cost of renewables is falling as they play an increasing role in powering our homes and businesses, and we deliver low carbon economy at the lowest cost to consumers."