Halifax MP Holly Lynch, who is also a member of Parliament’s influential Environmental Audit Committee, has expressed her concerns that the deal to transform Drax power station has fallen apart.
Drax power station in North Yorkshire is the biggest coal-fired power station in the UK making it one of the country’s biggest emitters of Carbon dioxide. However in recent years a scheme has been developed at Drax to create the first Carbon Capture and Storage project in Europe. The White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) proposal was last year awarded €300 million from the EU and would have been a pioneering project
CCS technology would mean that 90% of the C02 produced by the plant would be captured and pumped along 100 miles of pipeline to be permanently stored beneath the North Sea.
Holly said; ‘Not only was this project essential in enabling the UK to meet its Carbon emission reduction targets, but it was also going to generate much needed jobs and investment for Yorkshire. It was a win win.’
The CCS project, once up and running, was expected to generate enough low carbon electricity to power 630,000 households with hopes that up to 2,000 jobs would be created, bringing much needed investment to our region.
Had Yorkshire been the first region in Europe to get CCS up and running, the economic benefits of exporting expertise in this transformative technology could have been huge.
The Government awarded the White Rose CCS project research funding at the end of 2013 to conduct a feasibility study with those findings expected to be published towards the end of this year. EU funding has been awarded to the project but would need the UK Government to commit to investing in the project which is now looking doubtful.
The Energy and Climate change committee last year produced a report calling for an end to years of Government deliberations on CCS and for investment at Drax. They argued that this was the best way of meeting the UK’s legally binding climate change target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 baseline) by 2050.
‘As a member of the Environmental Audit Committee, I will be working with colleagues to ensure that we look into this in detail and see what has gone wrong. Millions in EU funding which would have improved our regional economy and our environment is now slipping away.’
‘The Government will be going to UN Climate Change talks in Paris in December and it would be a real shame to have taken such a backward step before then.’