Very bad news this morning – plans to convert the Yorkshire-based Drax power plant into Europe’s first carbon capture and storage project have been scrapped. The reason – uncertainty created by the Tories’ withdrawal from commitment to renewables, and their general U-turn on the Green agenda.
As we’ve reported before, the European Commission last year announced that the White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project at Drax power station was the winner of its NER300 competition, awarding it 300 million euros.
NER 300 is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for innovative low-carbon energy demonstration projects. Through it the EU awarded 19 million euros to kickstart 19 clean energy programmes. http://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/articles/news_2014070801_en.htm
And we in Yorkshire got the only one in the UK – at Drax.
Linda McAvan, Yorkshire and Humber MEP, worked hard to gain EU funding for this project, which would have placed Yorkshire in the forefront of this ground-breaking new technology.
All that’s now in jeopardy.
It’s just one more indication of how hollow the Tories’ rhetoric on the “Northern Powerhouse’ really is.
As Linda says
“This is a real blow for our region, for the fight against climate change and for cleaner energy. The CCS project would have put our region on the global map in terms of this ground breaking technology”
Through the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology the development of the Drax site would have created a new coal fired power plant which would have ensured that harmful gases could be safely stored under the North Sea. The CCS project had the potential to create over 1000 jobs in the region, generate significant economic benefits for Yorkshire and make a sizeable environmental impact.
Drax officials have cited the Tory government’s reversals on renewable energy and lack of support for the low carbon agenda as the underpinning reason for collapse of the power plant development.
Linda added that “government dithering and its failure to back the project is at the root of this decision”.
This weekend David Cameron is heading to the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York, but with no clear plan for a low carbon future for Britain, his message will fail to convince anyone that his government is serious on climate change, supporting regional business development and investment in his ‘northern powerhouse’.”