Energy report hailed as major blow to coal power plans
Environmental campaigners have welcomed a policy statement from the Scottish Government, which they say represents another 'nail in the coffin' for a planned coal-fired power station.
Responding to the publication today of the Future of Scottish Electricity Generation Report, which sets out the Scottish Government's policy on how it plans to meet the country's future electricity needs, Friends of the Earth and WWF Scotland argue that there is now no place for 'massively unpopular' plans by Peel Energy to build a new coal-fired station at Hunterston, Ayrshire.
Amongst other things, the statement confirms the Scottish administration's commitment to supply 100% of the nation's electricity needs from renewable energy and to 'decarbonise' the electricity generation sector by 2030.
Perhaps the most damning statistic contained in the report is the fact that only 2.5GW of thermal generation is required by 2020. Friends of the Earth Scotland have already pointed out that Scotland is currently producing almost twice this amount from three existing power stations at Longannet (2.4GW), Peterhead (1.5GW) and Cockenzie (1GW) alone.
Friends of the Earth Scotland policy officer Francis Stuart said:"These plans are another blow to Peel Energy's proposals for a hugely polluting coal power station in Ayrshire.
"On top of 22,000 objections and formal opposition from the local council, the Scottish Government has now made it clear that there isn't any need for this power station in any case.
"The developer should take this opportunity to walk away, stop wasting everyone's time and withdraw their application."
Although a decision on the future of the plant has yet to be made, Dr Sam Gardner, senior climate change policy officer at WWF Scotland agrees that the policy 'makes clear that new coal has no place' in Scotland's future electricity supply.
"The writing has been on the wall for a long time," he said. "Over 22,000 members of the public and North Ayrshire Council have already rejected the proposal. We now hope Peel Energy will finally realise their plans are not part of the Scottish Government's energy future and walk away."