WIND POWER “USELESS” WITHOUT CAPS ON COAL
Euro-MP is overseeing new legislation that could be the ‘missing
link’ in the fight against climate change.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) involves removing carbon dioxide
from coal burnt in power stations. The inert gas is then moved by
pipeline for permanent storage in rocks miles beneath the Earth’s
surface. Almost all strategies for stabilising the
concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere require CCS to
supplement other measures. The only other option would be a very
high concentration of nuclear power.
Plans to accelerate the use of this technology to curb CO2 emissions
from coal and gas-fired power stations are to be put to EU ministers
later this year.
New funding measures and the mandatory use of carbon capture and
storage (CCS) techniques are being proposed by Chris Davies who is
responsible for steering the draft law through the European
Parliament. The Liberal Democrat Euro-MP warns that unless
coal-fired power stations are forced to adopt CCS to prevent carbon
emissions escaping to the atmosphere all the benefits of developing
wind power and other forms of renewable energy will be completely
“Coal is responsible for 24% of Europe’s CO2 emissions and 50
new power plants are due to be built within the next 5 years,”
he warned. "Each one these will increase the problem of
global warming, wiping out the gains made from 2,000 or so wind
turbines. The development of CCS must be brought forward and
there is no time to be lost. The world's demand for electricity
requires the use of coal but to allow the construction of hundreds
more dirty power plants makes a nonsense of all other strategies to
The European Parliament has appointed Mr Davies as its lead
negotiator (rapporteur) for the draft directive on the geological
storage of carbon. He wants legislation to prohibit from 2015
the authorisation of any new fossil fuel power plant not equipped to
capture and store 90% of its CO2 emissions. All existing plants
should be retrofitted with CCS technology by 2025. He says the
priority must be construction of the 12 large scale demonstration
projects promised by Europe’s Prime Ministers but not yet
identified, and he wants the incoming French Presidency of the EU to
take a lead in resolving how the objective will be realised.
“The demonstration projects are essential to develop the range
of technologies available and secure cost reductions. Potential
developers are waiting on governments to take a lead,” he
The European Commission estimates that by 2030 the cost of operating
CCS-equipped coal-fired power plants will be only 10% more than at
present, taking into account allowances for the removal of CO2
available through the emissions trading scheme. But initial
costs of introducing the technology and building the pipeline
infrastructure to transport the gas to suitable injection sites
could more than double construction costs.
To support the first movers Chris Davies says that a temporary
mechanism needs to be introduced to the EU's emissions trading
system to allow the first CCS developers to be able to claim
tradable credits for every tonne of carbon they store. He
said:- “At present the power companies are hanging back hoping
that the costs of CCS will come down. By introducing a short term
‘double credit’ incentive I want to get them racing forward and
competing to build CCS plants. The early movers should be able to
gain rewards for a limited period. CCS isn't a magic bullet,
but by curbing the release of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere it
can help the world buy the time it needs to develop zero carbon
technology for the long term."
Fewer business flights should clip the wings of Liverpool airport
of top UK businesses hope to cut business flights in the coming
decade according to WWF-UK’s report Travelling Light, which raises
serious questions regarding current UK policy on airport expansion
and its supposed links to the nation’s economic health.
Liverpool has been one of Europe's fastest growing airports in
recent years, increasing its annual passenger numbers from 875,000
in 1998 to in excess of 5 million in 2007. Expansion plans could see
passenger numbers double in 10 years. If plans are approved, the
airport could attract an additional 5 million passengers a year by
2016. Their master plan to 2030 established a framework
for continued growth including new routes to long haul destinations.
This will be made possible by an extension of the runway to
accommodate larger aircraft.
WWF’s report, based on an independent survey, examined travel
policies among FTSE 350 companies. Of the 100 surveyed, almost 75%
have, or are in the process of developing, a policy to encourage
green business travel. Also 89% said they expect to cut flights over
the next 10 years and 85% see videoconferencing as a way to achieve
Peter Lockley, Head of Transport Policy at WWF-UK said:- “This
report has revealed that there is a real appetite among many of the
UK’s biggest businesses to reduce the number of flights they take.
For many companies, travel is a major contributor to their carbon
footprint - more than 50% in some cases - and green alternatives
such as videoconferencing not only provide a swift solution for
cutting carbon, they can also save businesses time and money. In the
current economic climate, and with increasing carbon accountability,
videoconferencing is an easy win for businesses.”
WWF’s One Planet Future campaign is challenging businesses to ‘Cut
1 in 5’ flights. If all European companies were to cut their
business travel by 20% and use video or audio conferencing instead,
it would save 22 million tonnes of CO2 each year - the equivalent of
taking one third of the UK’s cars off the road.
“There’s an important message here for local councils and the
UK Government,” Peter Lockley continues. “The UK’s
biggest businesses believe they can fly less and still remain
competitive - so why do we need expansion? We’re told that expansion
at Liverpool is vital for the local economy and business links, but
if business travellers - who currently account for more than a fifth
of passengers from the UK - are increasingly choosing to hold
‘virtual meetings’ instead of taking flights, then the case for
airport expansion begins to evaporate.”.
Good to be True?
UP to £500
will be given away to unsuspecting shoppers in Belle Vale Shopping
There is no catch; we really are giving away free money! Although
it’s not as easy as you may think. When offered free money by a
stranger most people’s first reaction is to walk away. Some have
The money will be distributed randomly to shoppers on Wednesday 28
May 2008, from 2pm. We would like to invite you along to help us give away
the money and witness first hand the response we get as we hand out
crisp notes of cash to shoppers.
Why not bring a photographer and
get a photo of your local Shopping Centre trying to give away free
cash? You might be surprised at what you see!