Coal-power generation has dipped to zero at points in Britain over the past few years but Friday is likely to mark the first continuous 24 hour period, National Grid said in a tweet.
As gas and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power have become more popular, the use of coal has decreased, accounting for just 9% of the electricity generated a year ago.
If Britain goes without coal for the whole day, it is thought it will be the first time it has been without electricity from coal since the world's first centralised public coal-fired generator opened at Holborn Viaduct in London, in 1882.
Britain could see its first full day without coal
Last year, the government said it wanted to phase out Britain's last plants by 2025 as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions.
Part of the reason is that solar panels and wind turbines now provide much more electricity to factories and homes.
Coal has powered Britain for more than a century. Lower power demand is a factor too - that's normal on a Friday.
"In ten years' time our energy system will have radically transformed again". They expected it to be a full day today, they reported on Twitter.
He said the current thrust was to replace coal with gas but that renewables like wind and solar were also playing a bigger role - accounting for 25% of supply in 2015.
National Grid said the record low is a sign of things to come, with coal-free days becoming increasingly common as the polluting fuel is phased out. A decade ago, such a feat would have been "unimaginable", according to Greenpeace.
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"Our energy mix continues to change and National Grid adapts system operation to embrace these changes".
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Ferrybridge coal-fired power station in West Yorkshire closed in 2016 after 50 years in service.
1956 - The Clean Air Act (1956) is introduced to tackle the smog created by coal fired stations. "But we will see the end of United Kingdom coal before the 2025 deadline and the Government must pave the way for the transformation".
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