Renew On Line (UK) 54

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 154 Mar-Apr2005

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. A new UK Climate Plan

2. Green Heat and Biofuels

3. Local support for Tidal power

4. Wind rush- and wind problems

5. Micro power push: PV and micro-CHP

6. Clean-coal ‘better than wind’

7. Industrial ups and downs

8. Grid Connection Charges

9. £80m for Innovation

10. Efficiency Drives

11. World news: Kyoto goes live

12. World Renewables Round up

13. Nuclear Power- more or less?

6. Clean-coal ‘better than wind’ 

The UK could cut the cost of reducing greenhouse gases by £3bn if it fitted clean-coal technology to its aging power stations, rather than building wind farms, according to Mitsui Babcock, the British based power station manufacturer. It says that  some 2,000 wind turbines will be installed in the UK over the next six years at a total cost of approximately £9 bn, as power companies seek to comply with a government demand to increase supplies of renewable energy.  However, it is urging the Government to invest in clean-coal technology, which it argues could be fitted to the UK’s 16 coal-fired power stations for only £6bn. It claimed that “the cost of installing clean-coal technology across the coal-fired fleet could be achieved at almost half the cost of achieving equivalent reductions using renewable sources” 

Mitsui Babcock wants the Government to introduce a form of incentive, similar to the renewable obligation certificate, for power generators to invest in clean-coal technology. Clean coal technology could, they say, cut carbon dioxide emissions by 50-60% from current levels, and they claim that wind power is 6 times more expensive than its technology in delivering the same CO2 reduction throughout the life of the power station. 

Source:  The Times, November 22, 2004 

* We assume they are talking about integrated coal-gassification combined-cycle plants, in which case the figures for CO2 savings and costs seem  very surprising. You could of course get 100% emission savings through carbon sequestration, but then the costs would be even higher. 

The Transport and General Workers Union and Amicus, the engineering union, have both backed ‘clean coal’, but they seem to be mainly talking about FGD- acid gas desulphurisers- which would actually increase the net CO2 produced since they reduce the plants energy conversion efficiency.

or is it?

Lib Dem MP Roger Williams has said that plans for a 16 turbine wind farm in Wales, which had met with local opposition,  should go to a public inquiry and be examined by an independent inspector. He commented “I am only too aware of the damage that was done to south Wales in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the rush for coal.”

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