Longannet Carbon Capture Plans 'Close to Collapse' – WWF Comment

Responding to news [1] that plans by ScottishPower to construct a carbon capture and storage (CCS) plant at Longannet in Fife are on the verge of collapse, WWF Scotland's Director, Dr Richard Dixon, said:

“This news is deeply worrying. If the UK truly wants to lead the development of this technology, as many politicians have said, then we do hope that all those involved can find a way to make this project happen. It would be a major blow to international efforts to develop carbon capture and storage if this scheme were not to happen at Longannet.

“Longannet is the right sort of power station in the right place to do this kind of large-scale trial, potentially learning lessons which could help reduce emissions at thousands of coal power stations around the world. It would be a major setback if the only remaining scheme in the government's CCS competition now fell at the final hurdle.”

A report by WWF previously found Longannet power station to the best option for UK Government trials to capture carbon emissions. [2] The environmental group warned that other sites being considered would result in vastly higher carbon emissions, equivalent to Scotland's total annual emissions in 2050.

Dr Dixon, added:

“CCS could play a significant role in decarbonising our global energy mix, so there is a case for a well-focused and cost-effective demonstration project that delivers real emission reductions. But let's not kid ourselves – the overwhelming focus should be on energy efficiency and renewables, clean technologies that we know work and that can be rolled out now. Given the slow progress on CCS, ministers should call a halt to consenting new gas or coal plants that are so-called 'CCS-ready', such as those at Cockenzie and Hunterston.”

ends 

NOTES TO EDITORS;

[1] Flagship UK carbon capture project 'close to collapse', The Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/06/carbon-capture-project-longannet-collapse

[2] 'Carbon Choices – options for demonstrating carbon capture and storage in the UK power sector' was based on analysis of the potential impact of the CCS demonstration projects on overall GB power sector CO2 emissions commissioned from IPA Energy + Water Economics

The report analysed the entries in the Government's Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) competition and concluded that doing the trial at Longannet would be the only choice that actually reduced emissions overall.

http://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/carbon_choices__final_.pdf

Contact: Mandy Carter
Phone: 01350 728200

Website: http://www.wwfscotland.org.uk