Planned £30M renewable energy site cleared over 'misleading' brochure

A brochure promoting plans for renewable energy centre has been cleared by advertising watchdogs after several complaints.

An artist's impression of the planned centre

An artist's impression of the planned centre

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) last night (April 27) ruled in favour of Peel Environmental against six complaints relating to marketing for its proposed Renewable Energy Centre in North Selby.

Plans for the £30 million site could see the former North Selby mine at Escrick transformed into a what Peel hope will be a 'world class' facility for biorenewables research alongside energy recovery facilities will generate heat and renewable energy.

However, four people challenged claims in Peels promotional brochure as misleadingly because they implied the centre would produce renewable energy as they understood most of the power would be from non-renewable sources.

Two other people complained about the same brochure saying also challenged whether the claim 'proven technologies' was misleading because they believed the technologies were disputed within the scientific community.

In its ruling the ASA noted the energy generated at the proposed centre would be derived from waste and noted the definition of 'renewable' in the context of energy generation in EU Directive 2009/28/EC.

A spokesman said: "We considered this definition was sufficiently recognised and mirrored in UK government policy; most notably in the Renewables Obligation Certificates system.

"We noted all the energy produced by the anaerobic digestion plant would derive from organic waste and considered that this energy could therefore be described as "renewable".

"We also noted the gasification facility would divert waste from landfill and based on the findings of a recent report commissioned by the Environment Agency Wales, more than 61% of this waste could be considered 'renewable'.

"Because most of the total energy generated by the centre could be considered 'renewable' as defined in UK government policy and European Directive, we concluded that the brochure was not misleading on this point."

Further claims against the brochure, relating to the size of the site and the waste quantities and regional expertise were also dismissed.

However, The ASA did uphold one claim that the project would create up to 100 jobs was 'misleading and could be substantiated'.

Luke Walsh


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