Gas plants will be eligible for the government's £9bn carbon capture demonstration programme, Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, will announce tomorrow. The programme had only been open to coal plants, which in future will be required to fit the technology to capture and store emissions rather than release them into the atmosphere.
The move follows a warning from an independent body, the Committee on Climate Change, that the UK will miss its target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050 unless gas plants are subject to the same new emissions controls as coal. But Huhne will stop short of endorsing the committee's other recommendation to fit gas plants with the technology after 2020. Huhne will say only that new emissions controls will not apply to gas in the "short and medium term", although this leaves the door open for tougher action in a decade.
Huhne will say: "Today the government is reasserting its mission to lead the world on carbon capture and storage (CCS), by opening our funding process to what could be one of the first ever commercial-scale CCS projects on a gas-fired plant in the world. The UK looks set to rely on gas for years to come. We won't be able to take the carbon out of all gas plants overnight, but we hope to support the process by investment in new technology now."
Last month the government finally committed £1bn to building the first coal plant to demonstrate the CCS technology. It plans to subsidise up to three more projects, including one gas project, through a consumer levy, but there are serious doubts about when the funds will be made available.
Currently, about one third of the UK's generation capacity comes from gas plants, but this is expected to double later this decade as old coal and nuclear plants close. The emissions controls have in effect placed a moratorium on building coal plants, which means that new "unabated" gas plants will be built instead. Coal plants emit about twice as much carbon as gas.
Joss Garman from Greenpeace said: "To introduce new legal limits on pollution from power stations that exclude emissions from gas plants is like introducing rules for alcohol intake but excluding beer. Allowing gas plants to keep polluting indefinitely is perverse and represents a real threat to UK efforts to beat climate change."
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Gas Plants and Carbon Capture and Storage.
This story from yesterday's Guardian is yet again good news for Wrecsam Council who are considering building a Gas Power Station on the Wrecsam Industrial Estate to generate electricity for the hundreds of companies that are located there. A part of the £9 billion pounds earmarked for Carbon Capture and Storage would be very welcome and will go a long way to preventing carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere from this gas plant. Pressure should be brought on Chris Huhne to bring CCS technology forward for Gas Power Stations before 2020.
Posted by Plaid Gwersyllt at 13:27