Monday 10 February 2014

Government must “retake lead” in carbon capture, plead coal importers

Government must “retake lead” in carbon capture, plead coal importers

A group of UK coal importers is calling on the Government to “retake the lead” on carbon capture and storage (CCS).

In the past DECC has been criticised by industry for treating CCS as an “option” rather than a necessity and forced to shrug off embarrassment because of the USA’s head start in the technology.

Now the Association of UK Coal Importers (CoalImp) which represents major coal users, rail companies, ports and other infrastructure operators in the UK says it wants “robust new support” from Westminster.

It claims coal can play a key role in an affordable, sustainable energy mix when used with CCS.

CoalImp is backing figures just released by union TUC and trade body CCSA, which claim CCS could create a market in the UK worth as much as £35bn by 2030.

Nigel Yaxley, managing director of CoalImp said: “Despite initially spearheading CCS innovation, we have fallen behind other countries in recent times. However there is now a real chance to make up that ground, by showing that coal-fired power is a viable option within a secure, affordable and flexible electricity system.”

He said attitudes towards coal in the UK have “suffered” in comparison with other countries who value it for “security, affordability and flexibility”.

With constant gripes about energy bills in the media, the coal man claimed there has “never been a better time” to put coal back at the centre of the debate through sustainable CCS technology.

Mr Yaxley added: “Coal is the world’s fastest growing and cheapest fuel, reflecting its abundant supply across all continents – and it can still have a role in the future low-carbon energy mix through CCS.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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