Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2011

Carbon Capture Plan Collapses – A Set Back or an Opportunity?

The Government's plans for carbon capture and storage (CCS) were dealt a major blow yesterday with the collapse of plans to fit CCS equipment to the Longannet power station in Fife. The Government has commitment to fund up to four CCS demonstration schemes, however the collapse of the Longannet scheme means it will now have to start from scratch - there are no other potential CCS schemes currently under consideration.Yesterday's announcement was prompted by ballooning costs for the scheme. The Government had committed £1 billion of funding for the project, but the length of the pipeline needed to transport carbon dioxide from the plant to undersea reservoirs meant that the project would cost at least £1.3 billion, prompting the plant's owner, Scottish and Southern Energy, to pull out.The Government has clearly stated that it is the technical difficulties at the Longannet plant, rather than with CCS as a whole, that has made the scheme non-viable. However, there is no doubt…

Nitrogen Dioxide - A Climbdown or Just a Change of Direction?

The recent announcement that the Government will not be seeking a time extension for meeting European nitrogen dioxide limit values has been hailed as a victory for campaigners. The health based limits for the pollutant gas should have been met last year (2010), however they are still widely exceeded across the UK. Earlier this year the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published draft plans for seeking a 5 year extension (to 2015) from the European Commission. However, in order to secure the extension the plans had to show that the UK would be fully compliant by the extended deadline. Responses to the DEFRA consultation pointed out the glaring admission in the plans that it would be 2025 before all of the UK would comply, and that the extension application would therefore fall at this most elementary hurdle.The same campaigners were ready to lobby the European Commission to ensure that they enforced their own rules with regard to the UK's application. Fa…