EA say no to new coal without CCS

No new coal-fired power stations should be built in the UK unless they can capture and store carbon emissions, a Government agency has told ministers.

The Environment Agency called for faster progress on proving carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology on a commercial scale.

Publishing its response to Government’s consultation on CCS, which closed on September 22, the agency said funding must be made available to speed up the development of the technology.

It rejected the idea of building coal-fired power stations that can be fitted with the technology later, claiming it would “insufficient for the climate challenge that we face”.

Lord Chris Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, said: “Although CCS technology has been demonstrated on a small scale, there is now an urgent need for it to be demonstrated on a commercial scale.

“Any new coal power station to be built should have a consent that requires that it helps demonstrate the technology.

“Such a consent should be strictly time limited and only renewed if carbon capture and storage is fully deployed.”

The Environment Agency’s full response can be found here.

Government is expected to publish its response to the issues raised in the consultation before Christmas.

Ministers said the responses will also be taken into account during their negotiations on the draft EU directive on CCS.

This week, consulting firm McKinsey & Company handed over their report to the EU assessing the economics of CCS.

Receiving the report, Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said: “Early effective demonstration of technological viability of CCS in power generation, both in Europe and internationally, is essential ro move rapidly to economically viable, near free carbon electricity generation.

“This report is a valuable contribution to the discussions currently ongoing to find the best way to push this technology forward.”

Kate Martin

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