Feeds

Kent council approves 'cleaner' coal-fired plant

Greenpeace unimpressed

High performance access to file storage

Kent's Medway Council has controversially voted in favour of building the UK's first new coal-fired power station for 24 years at Kingsnorth, near Rochester.

The application by E.ON UK proposes two new "cleaner" coal units to replace the existing station on the site, which would be supplying electricity to 1.5 million homes by 2012. The company claims its new facility would be 20 per cent cleaner than the current plant, and chief exec Paul Golby stressed it had "made a public commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by half by 2030".

Golby told BBC Radio 4 the new station "would hopefully become the UK's first clean carbon demonstration plant, with carbon captured from it and stored in depleted oil fields under the North Sea". He stressed: "This particular investment is significantly more efficient than conventional coal plants and that is equivalent to taking about half a million cars off the road."

Greenpeace has rejected these planet-hugging claims, with the organisation's communications director, Ben Stuart, slamming E.ON as "the largest polluter in Britain and being reckless in building the power station".

He described the carbon capture plan as "not viable in the first half of the 21st Century", claiming that the plant would in fact pump out 8.4 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

Stuart told the BBC: "A new generation of coal-fired power stations in the UK beginning with Kingsnorth would quite simply end any hope we have that Britain can meet its long-term climate change targets."

Since Medway Council does not have the authority to approve the application, and was simply "asked to give its views to the government", the latter will have the final say. In considering its opinion, the local authority received 9,000 objections to the plan, "more than 8,000 of them in the form of emails, postcards and letters in standard Greenpeace wording", as the BBC notes.

Whatever the eventual outcome down at Kingsnorth, environmentalists will also have to confront reported government plans for a new generation of UK nuclear power plants.

According to the Independent, Gordon Brown's first cabinet meeting of 2008 will firm up proposals next week, with an announcement to Parliament due on 7 January.

The paper quoted a "senior source" in the new UK gov Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform as saying: "Given the circumstances we will be facing over the coming years, it is inconceivable that we should prevent nuclear from being part of our energy mix." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
Get your MOON GEAR: Auction to feature Space Race memorabilia
Keepsakes from early NASA, Soviet programs up for bids
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.