Region ‘best place’ for clean coal power projects

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YORKSHIRE is the best place in Britain to develop a cluster of pioneering clean coal power stations, according to the production director at Drax plc.

Peter Emery said the proposed pipeline linking the stations has “the potential to create real economic benefit” for the region.

Drax is bidding to win funding from the European Commission to develop its carbon capture and storage project.

It also plans to apply for money from the Government’s forthcoming programme to support CCS.

The project aims to trap about two million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year, capturing 90 per cent of the plant’s emissions.

Two other companies in the region have applied for European Union funding for clean energy projects. They are 2CO Energy at Hatfield Colliery and C.Gen at Killingholme.

The National Grid has said it will develop a pipeline to transport the C02 to the seabed off the East Coast.

The UK has submitted six bids to the EU. The Government launches its own funding programme in the coming weeks.

Mr Emery said that Yorkshire has the right geography to capitalise on low carbon energy: a large coastline with under-sea carbon storage, access to wind for offshore generation and appropriate agriculture land for cultivation of biomass and pipeline development. It is also home to heavy industry.

Yorkshire will face competition for funding from other parts of the UK, including Scotland, and Europe.

Mr Emery said: “Yorkshire has a real strategic advantage here. Once the Government starts thinking strategically about infrastructure to develop a pipeline framework, the Yorkshire position becomes stronger.”

He added that it would be “much cheaper than the Olympics and High Speed Rail”.

It is thought unlikely that all three CCS projects in this region will win funding.

CO2Sense, the Leeds-based environmental consultancy, said investment in a Yorkshire CCS network would help to reduce carbon emissions, raise the region’s profile and create jobs.

Drax is investing £50m this year in expanding its co-firing capacity for biomass.