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Forth Energy are proposing four large biomass power stations in Scotland (Dundee, Grangemouth, Rosyth, Leith/Edinburgh). The Scottish Government, who will make all four planning decisions, are currently consulting on Forth Energy's application for a 100 MW power station in Rosyth which would burn 1 million tonnes of wood a year, up to 90% of it imported. Altogether, the four power stations would burn at least 5.3 million tonnes of wood. By comparison, the UK's total wood production is around 8.4 million (dry) tonnes a year and across the country, industry plans for burning over 35 million tonnes of wood for electricity have been announced. Such a large new demand for wood will mean more industrial tree plantations and more logging and thus more deforestation, land-grabbing and climate change, much of it in the global South.
Forth Energy make it clear that they will burn wood from trees cut down for this purpose - yet studies show that it takes decades or centuries before the carbon emitted this way is absorbed again by new trees and by soil. The 'smokestack' CO2 emissions from biomass burning are even higher than those from generating the same amount of electricity from burning coal.
In and around Rosyth, the power station would cause significant emissions of nitrogen dioxide and small particulates, which are linked to respiratory and cardiac disease, as well as dioxins and furans and other toxins which are linked to cancer and birth defects. The power station would be sited next to the Firth of Forth. The discharge of warm cooling water with biocides would pose a threat to marine life in an area designated as a Special Protection Area and a Ramsar Wetland.
For more information and to object to the application, please go to http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/forthnov2010.php .
Furthermore, if you live in Scotland, you can write to your MSP to support a call for a moratorium on biomass power stations by going to http://www.call4.org/campaigns/halt-large-scale-biomass-in-scotland/ .