Good news for clean energy

Grants totalling £3.3 million have been awarded to community energy schemes, and a Nottinghamshire coal plant is to remove 90% of its sulphur dioxide emissions.

Community energy schemes that have been able to demonstrate cost-effective carbon savings and good energy cost saving returns on investment have won up to £650,000 in government funding. They include an £500,000 award to expand an existing network on the Shetland Islands, using heat from a waste to energy plant for homes and public buildings. Warwick University also won £650,000 to upgrade its energy network to include ten halls of residence.

Between them, these two projects will save nearly 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, says the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

“These schemes will heat homes as well as public buildings including schools, university halls of residence, museums and leisure centres,” said Environment Minister Michael Meacher. Eight projects in all were chosen to receive the funding, with a total value of £12 million, of which over a quarter is to be contributed by the Government, explained the Minister. “The eight will help reduce the bills of over 1,400 fuel poor households and save almost 6,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.”

Other good news this week comes in the form approval by Energy Minister Brian Wilson for a proposal from Cottam Power Ltd to fit a flue gas desulphurisation plant at its 2000 MW coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire. Not only is the new plant predicted to remove 90% of the sulphur dioxide from the facility’s combustion gases, but it is also intended to produce the by-product Gypsum which is used in the building trade. The new plant is also predicted to extend the life of the power station by approximately 15 years.

“With enhancements such as this, coal can better compete on an environmental basis with other fuels,” said Wilson.

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