Monday, 12 October 2009


A lot of nonsense from E.ON about "reduced demand" being the reason why they have deferred building a new coal power station at Kingsnorth in Kent, matched only by the nonsense from some green activists about this being "the end of coal."

Sorry, but despite it being the largest single source of CO2 emissions, worldwide use of coal is fast expanding. We have to live with coal, and tackle its emissions, if we are to beat global warming.

No commentator that I noticed made the connection between E.ON and the EU's strategy to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Just shows how anglocentric people here are.

Power companies have all been told by the UK government that they cannot build new coal power stations unless they are at least partly CCS equipped from day one. E.ON duly submitted a competitive bid for є180 million funding from the EU for CCS development, the sum to be matched by our government. Only one UK project is due to gain support at this stage and rival bids were submitted for projects at Hatfield, Longannet and Tilbury.

On 1 October the European Commission presented its recommendation to a technical working group of representatives from EU member states. The details have not yet been made public but it's no secret in Brussels that Kingsnorth was not top of the list.

One week later E.ON announced deferral of its scheme.


ben said...

I think plenty of people made the connection between the Hatsfield funding and Eon throwing in the towel for the time being.

McDuff said...


CCS is like fusion power. It's forty years away, and always will be. What we have at present, even in our most optimistic projections, is simply not up to the task of tackling GHG emissions in the timescales we need to tackle them in.

We need to get used to coal and learn to live with it, as you say. What this means is, we will not be able to prevent global climate change and will have to deal with its effects.

We should still try to reduce emissions as much as possible, of course, and there are non-GCC reasons for reducing reliance on fossil fuels, but we are beyond the point where we can realistically expect to escape the consequences of our actions. CCS is a nice idea for the 19th century, but unfortunately we're better off putting our resources into managed retreat in the 21st.