Saturday, 10 October 2009

Kingsnorth has been put to ground

The decision by E.ON to suspend its plans to build a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth is a real triumph for everyone who has fought so hard to oppose this dangerous facility.

The advocates of Kingsnorth claimed that it would have produced 'clean coal'. However, carbon capture and storage technology is still in an experimental phase. Moreover, the long-term effects of pumping carbon dioxide into storage caverns under the North Sea are unknown. Instead of prioritising carbon capture and storage, the government should urgently initiate major investment in energy efficiency, renewables, decentralised energy and demand-reduction schemes. If it is to make any real progress at the Copenhagen climate summit, Britain cannot go along with a "do as we say, not as we do" message.

E.ON claims that the cancellation of Kingsnorth is a response to a drop in demand for electricity. Which is odd as we keep being told that there will be a shortfall leading to power cuts if we don't do something about it.

It makes it even clearer that what we need is to introduce a nationwide programme of energy-efficiency. According to the government's own figures, we could achieve a 30% reduction in energy use in the UK through existing efficiency technologies alone. What energy we do
produce needs to be far cleaner. The UK is ideally positioned for a green energy revolution - all we need is the political will to realise it.
said Dr Caroline Lucas MEP, who has been consistently campaigning on this issue.

Britain has the potential to show real political leadership here. As NASA scientist and climatologist James Hansen, who testified against the proposed Kingsnorth facility, has argued, the best thing now for coal is for it to be left in the ground.

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