Scottish Power seek leading role in clean coal
December 16 2009
The energy provider is at the forefront of moves to develop a commercially viable form of carbon capture and storage – a technique which extracts carbon from emissions ready to be pumped into suitable geological cavities.
First in line for the treatment is Longannet power station on the banks of the river Forth, one of Europe’s largest power stations and one of its largest sources of greenhouse gases.
Scottish Power has established a modest prototype facility on site which employs complex chemicals to isolate the carbon dioxide. When this process has been perfected the energy supplier reckons piping the gases out to the North Sea will be a relatively simple matter.
This won’t come cheap however as to establish the UK’s first commercial scale carbon capture and storage facility the energy supplier is looking for £1bn of British Government funding.
It is thought however that the first to achieve this breakthrough would reap the dividends however by licensing the technology to coal hungry developing nations.
Environmentalists still balk at the idea though, regarding it as a red herring. They regard it as letting polluters off the hook by postulating a hypothetical solution which may not arrive for many years, if at all.
Commercially too concerns have been raised that the cost of utilising safe long term storage will make power produced in this way prohibitively expensive.
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