Wed 2 Jun, 2010

For immediate release 2 June 2010

Ayrshire Power's formal application to build a new coal plant at Hunterston today must be rejected, Greens argued, and following a vote against the plant at Holyrood earlier this year. The plant would, if approved by Ministers, be designed to capture only a small percentage of its emissions, even assuming carbon capture and storage can be demonstrated successfully, and would commit Scotland to a long-term reliance on coal power. In October 2009 the Danish energy firm Dong backed out of the joint venture behind the scheme.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"The era of new coal-fired power stations is over, and this plant must never be permitted to go ahead. It's incompatible with building a green and successful economy, it was explicitly rejected by the Scottish Parliament in March this year, and one half of the joint venture has already left the sinking ship.

"A new coal-fired power station would inevitably mean new opencast coal here in Scotland or dirty coal imports from overseas. Even if the company's plans to capture and store carbon were to work, and the scientific community is split as to whether it will ever be feasible, Ayrshire Power propose to capture only a small amount of the pollution this scheme would cause.

"We already know that Scotland has the capacity to power itself several times over from renewable energy alone, and if this government or its predecessors had shown serious determination over the last decade we could be nearly there already. Building a new coal plant at Hunterston would not just distract from that task, it would be a dirty great mistake and undermine efforts to clean up Scotland's power supply."

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