EON WATCH

Kingsnorth Project Details + Context

Kingsnorth if built will be the first new coal plant in the UK for more than 30 years. Much of the labour governments emissions reductions in the late 1990’s where due to us moving away from coal. Now is not the time to reverse that trend.

Internationally, the global north is seriously undermining efforts to reduce carbon emissions. How can a climate change treaty be agreed when the UK isn’t at least ruling out the most polluting form of power? Already the opposition to coal in the US is vast and a moratorium on new coal without carbon capture and storage seems likely. We in the UK can’t let the side down.

Kingsnorth is described by EON as cleaner coal because it uses so-called super-critical technology to reduce emissions by around 20% compared to old coal plants. However this still makes it far less efficient than power plants using any other fossil fuel and quite appalling when compared to local combined heat and power plants which can have emissions lower than coal with with the highly uncertain  and extremely costly technology of carbon capture and storage.

E.ON has a technology page which explains the various methods of reducing local air pollution that Kingasnorth would be fitted with. These technologies are to be greatly welcomed as they reduce the potential local air pollution greatly, they dont however do anything to reduce the carbon footprint of the coal plant. EON mention carbon capture and storage, but only as far as saying they will build a plant that can be fitted with this technology later. Carbon capture and storage is a speculative technology that many in the environmental community do not like due to the added clean air benefits of renewable energy, however if EON where obliged to use CCS with Kingsnorth then most people would not object. Climate change is an urgent issues and if the power companies are serious about CCS then they should put there money up front and develop it. Using a future promise of an undeveloped and possibly uneconomic technology is simply not good enough.

More background on the Kingsnorth planning application can be found on EON’s website.

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