Monday, 8 March 2010

Kingsnorth coal back on?

It looks like Eon are waking up again after their winter hibernation where they 'shelved' plans for a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth. Plans have now been submitted for a pipeline to take the CO2 away so that it can be burried under the North Sea, and news in yesterday's Kent on Sunday was of a deal with the government to get 'tens of millions' to draw up plans for the technology. Sadly, it looks like Kingsnorth did not go away.

Carbon capture and storage is unproven. Building a new coal fired power station will ensure that more CO2 is released each year than Ghana. Adding CCS may reduce the CO2 emissions in the medium term if it works, but it still be pumping massive amounts into the atmosphere to start with and even if / when it is working it will only capture 90% of the CO2. While 90% is a significant proportion from a technical point of view, it still leaves the power station responsible for an equivalent of 10% of the CO2 emissions that Ghana produces.

Ignoring the years of testing where 100% of CO2 will be emitted, ignoring the embodied energy in the plant, it is still clear that this is an unviable and overly expensive way of meeting the energy gap. The tens of millions of pounds could be much better spend on efficiency and renewable energy. Remember, coal is not renewable and while it won't run out in our lifetime, it will run out. Renewable energy is, er... renewable.

1 comment:

IhadTOsignUPjustTOpostAcomment said...

It's also worth noting that capturing CO2 from the power station required energy and that means and additional coal needs to be burnt to provide that energy. It is estimated that 25% to 40% more coal must be burnt to provide the same output and that means much higher prices to the consumer for the electricity produced (perhaps 90% higher). Not only does it mean more coal must be burnt, it also means more coal must be mined along with all the inherent destruction, pollution and detrimental health effects associated with coal extraction. Perhaps even more significantly for people in the Medway area (already suffering from the forth worths air quality in England), the extra coal that must be burnt to provide the additional energy required to capture the CO2, that means greater emissions of other air borne pollutants which means more asthma and ill health for those of us who like to breath.

Eons plans are monstrous and must be stopped.

Anyone want to get involved in campaigning against the pipelines and a new Kingsnorth, please pop into the Tipping Point climate infoshop at 46 High Street, Gillingham