I have just sent an email alert from Biofuelwatch's website to Sheffield City Council Planning Department asking them to not approve an application by company Rocpower Ltd for a biofuel powered electricity generating plant. This would open up a whole new market for biofuels and must be stopped!
Please support this urgent action. To find out more, please click here to go to the webpage : http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/rocpoweroct2009.php
Objection to Rocpower Ltd’s application for a Biofuel Power Generation Plant at Ecclesfield, Ref 09/02979/FUL I wish to object to Rocpower Ltd’s planning application to build an 8 MW biofuel power station at Loicher Lane, Ecclesfield, which would burn 10,000 tonnes of vegetable oil every year.
I am deeply concerned about the impact of biofuels such as palm oil on the climate, on rainforests and other ecosystems and on communities in the global South. In Italy and Germany, a large number of biofuel power stations are already operating and virtually all of them run on palm oil which is by far the cheapest vegetable oil. If the power station were run on palm oil only, it would require about 4,000 hectares of plantations to produce its fuel every year – and even more if other types of fuel were used.
According to the UN, palm oil is the main cause of deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is responsible for billions of tonnes of carbon emissions, as forests are destroyed and peatlands converted to plantations. In countries like Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Colombia, growing numbers of indigenous peoples, small farmers and other rural communities are being forced off their land, often through violence to make way for new oil palm plantations.
I am also concerned about the impacts of the proposed biofuel power station on air quality and thus on the health of the local population, particularly in Ecclesfield but potentially also in surrounding districts. The site for the power station in Loicher Lane is within the City’s urban area designated in 2006 as an Air Quality Management Area. The Council has a responsibility to prepare and implement remedial action plans to control and reduce air pollution in the AQMA. The Rocpower power station will worsen PM10 levels, as well as those of nitrogen oxide and PM 2.5, and will therefore make it more difficult for the Council to meet its responsibility to improve air quality.
Sheffield City Council must consider the climate and wider sustainability impacts of planning decisions and I believe that this means that the development should be rejected. I also request that the plans are considered by the relevant planning committee and not as a delegated decision. Best regards,
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