More energy projects apply for share of money from EU

Hatfield Colliery near Doncaster is in the running to house a proposed clean coal power station. Picture: Chris Lawton.
Hatfield Colliery near Doncaster is in the running to house a proposed clean coal power station. Picture: Chris Lawton.
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TWO more pioneering energy projects in Yorkshire have submitted bids for millions of pounds in European Union funding to help to develop ambitious carbon capture and storage (CCS) schemes in the region.

The Government said yesterday that of the nine proposed CCS projects across Britain bidding for the latest round of EU money, four are based in Yorkshire and the Humber.

CCS is a fledgling technology in which carbon emissions from industrial polluters such as power stations are captured before they can be released into the atmosphere and are buried safely underground or beneath the sea bed.

Yorkshire is seen as an ideal location to trial the technology due to its large numbers of heavy polluters and its proximity to depleted oil and gas fields in the North Sea where carbon dioxide (CO2) could be stored.

Last week Drax Power, which owns Britain’s largest coal-fired power station, at Drax, near Selby, said it was bidding for EU cash to develop a 426mw “clean” power station on the same site.

Powerfuel, the energy company set up by coal entrepreneur Richard Budge, is also bidding for funds for its proposed 900mw “clean coal” power station at Hatfield, near Doncaster, which would be the biggest such scheme in the world if it were to be built.

Powerfuel’s parent company went into administration in December after failing to raise sufficient private capital even though it had already won £160m in an earlier EU funding round.

Hopes remain high that a buyer will be found, with administrators considering 10 expressions of interest for the firm.

It has now emerged Powerfuel has submitted a second bid for EU funding for a smaller “clean gas” CCS scheme at the same site in Hatfield.

The 450mw project has been developed in conjunction with Australian firm Calix.

The Government has refused to reveal the identity of Yorkshire’s fourth CCS bidder, saying only that it is based in the “Humber area”.

Ministers have until May to choose which three from the UK’s nine proposed CCS projects and five “innovative renewable” energy projects it will submit for EU funding.