(correct link included in this version)
This email alert is for people living in the UK only. If you do not live in the UK, then please do not take part.
Hargreaves Services Plc has recently set up a subsidiary company called Rocpower Ltd to generate electricity from vegetable oil. Hargreaves itself is a supplier of services and fossil fuels, including coal, to conventional power station operators.
Rocpower is planning SIX biofuel power stations in Yorkshire, with a total generating capacity of 60MW. This is three times the size of the power station Blue NG wants to build in Southall, so Rocpower's total fuel consumption across the six planned sites is likely to be at least 150,000 tonnes per year. Rocpower say they will use a range of different types of `virgin vegetable oil' and don't exclude either palm oil or soybean oil.
Peat expert Professor Siegert of Munich University has said about palm oil power stations in Germany: "We were able to prove that the making of these plantations and the burning of the rainforests and peat areas emits many thousands of times as much CO2 as we then are able to prevent by using palm oil. And that is a disastrous balance for the climate." (tinyurl.com/y9xel3g). Ever more communities in countries like Colombia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Ecuador are losing their land to palm oil companies, with plantation expansion to a large extent driven by Europe's biofuel policies.
Rocpower has submitted planning applications for three of the six power stations:
Wakefield – 11MW. Planning application No. 09/01145/FUL, to be built in Featherstone.
Barnsley – 7MW. Planning application No. 2009/0814, to be built in Baraugh Green.
Sheffield – 8MW. Planning application No. 09/02979/FUL, to be built in Ecclesfield.
Wakefield and Barnsley are due to be determined by 16th October so it is probably too late to submit further objections. However if you live in those towns you might want to check out the situation and raise concerns with your local councillors about the environmental impacts of biofuel electricity.
Exhaust emissions from all the power stations will mean local residents have to suffer increased levels of Nitrogen Dioxide and small particulates that are linked to respiratory and cardiac disease. Parts of Sheffield already have high levels of air pollution and exceed legal limits.
Sheffield's planning application is open for comments until 22 October. The Council must make its decision by 6 November.
IF YOU LIVE IN THE UK please send in an objection to Sheffield City Council.
Use the email alert at: www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/rocpoweroct2009.php
or go to www.biofuelwatch.org.uk and follow the link from the home page.
If you can personalise your message it will have more impact.
(Rocpower's planning application to Sheffield City Council is here)