Thursday, July 26, 2012

[biofuelwatch] Please object to biofuel power station plans near Brighton

Biofuel company Edgeley Green Power (EGP) has submitted plans for a 32 MW biofuel power station in Shoreham-by-Sea, near Brighton.  EGP list palm oil as one of the feedstocks they would consider using.  They are using a somewhat unusual argument that they would not burn palm or other virgin vegetable oil if it was 'fit for human consumption', but say that if it was shipped in dirty containers then they might use it!  Other feedstocks they list are either not available in large quantities (such as used cooking oil which is in high demand for biodiesel for transport) or they are being fully used by different industries which would otherwise likely switch to palm oil (tallow).

A power station of the size proposed in Shoreham (32 MW) would burn up to 50,000 tonnes of biofuels a year - if all of that was palm oil, then 12,500 hectares of new plantations would be needed, even more if other types of vegetable oil were burnt. Locally, air pollution with nitrogen dioxide is a serious concern, with already very high existing pollution levels which would be made worse by such a power station.  To find out more and object to the application, please go to .  

If you live in or near Shoreham or Brighton and would like to offer more help with campaigning against this power station, please email  .

Update from previous alerts:

The long-awaited Government response to the consultation about future subsidy rates (Renewable Obligation Certificates of ROCs)  for all types of energy classed as renewable in England and Wales was published yesterday.  

Unfortunately, it is not good news.  Representations and evidence against subsidies for electricity from biofuels as well as large-scale (mainly import-reliant) biomass have been effectively ignored, while Drax, NPower and other big energy companies have clearly been listened to.  The Government will consult again on a cap on dedicated biomass power stations to be subsidised (though ones being built now will be exempt, hence a rush to start building a lot of the approved biomass power stations seems likely).  Unfortunately, this appears almost meaningless given that they are offering uncapped subsidies and strong incentives for converting coal power stations mainly or completely to biomass, allegedly to replace coal.  Yet coal power stations such as Tilbury B and Ironbridge are being converted to bypass EU air emissions rules (on sulphur dioxide) - if they weren't converted then they would have to legally be shut down very soon.  So millions or likely in future tens of millions of tonnes of wood are to be imported from  North and South America, Russia, Africa and elsewhere to keep old, inefficient polluting power stations running that would otherwise be closed.  For more information, please see our press release . 

Thanks to everybody who has written to their MP and/or participated in the consultation to call for subsidies to go to true renewables not, biofuel and big biomass power stations.  The Government's decision, though it refers to long-term subsidiy rules, is being made through secondary legislation, which can be reviewed and changed at any time - if there's enough public and political pressure for such changes.  This is all the more reason to keep up and build such pressure for a policy change.

We are still waiting for an announcement by the Scottish Government and hope that their decision will be informed by evidence rather than corporate lobbying and focus on supporting only sustainable true renewable energy which reduces greenhouse gas emissions.  


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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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