Tuesday 17 December 2013

MPs express “grave concerns” for Eggborough power plant

MPs express “grave concerns” for Eggborough power plant

A group of Tory MPs has written to Energy Secretary Ed Davey expressing their “grave concerns” for the future of Eggborough power station.

Eggborough in North Yorkshire is on the verge of spending £750m to convert from coal to biomass.

MPs suggest the 2,000MW plant is “significantly jeopardised” by changes DECC is planning to make for biomass subsidies.

DECC only has a certain amount of money for projects in its current round of funding. Eggborough is waiting to find out if it is suitable this week.

All coal plants in the UK are ruled by the IED, an EU law carried over from the Large Combustion Plant Directive which demands they be a certain level of efficiency or close. To avoid closing, Eggborough has calculated it must have “shovels in the ground” by 6 January 2014, a spokesperson told ELN.

In the letter signed by MPs including Selby MP Nigel Adams, York Outer’s Julian Sturdy and anti-wind MP for Daventry Chris Heaton-Harris, they write: “Should this project not proceed, thousands of direct and indirect jobs will potentially be lost in our constituencies... [And] the UK electricity grid will lose 4% of its capacity in one stroke.”

They suggest this will “eradicate” the 4% capacity margin Ofgem and DECC are relying on over the next few years, which could mean “the UK will be at risk of blackouts”.

Wholesale prices could go up 10% and energy bills could rise £38 if the plant closes, according to Eggborough.

A spokesperson for DECC said: “Projects will be told later this week what their provisional ranking is against all projects and within their technology group. We cannot comment on their ranking ahead of this announcement.”

Other MPs who signed were Andrew Jones, Neil Parish, Martin Vickers, Andrew Percy, Philip Davies, Simon Reevell, Jackie Doyle-Price and Jason McCartney.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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