Planet’s largest clean coal project could be going up in smoke

The Guardian reports Scottish ministers are expected to order a public inquiry into plans to build the UK’s only new coal-fired power station with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology after it suffered another serious setback.

The latest delay follows unprecedented public opposition to the $4.8 billion project and will also damage proponents of CCS – where CO2 emissions are sequestered underground – and the so-called ‘clean coal’ lobby. Only two small coal CSS pilot projects exist worldwide: Schwarze Pumpe in Germany and Mountaineer Power Plant in West Virginia.

The Guardian reports the inquiry would add further and potentially significant delays to project which has already lost a Danish energy company from the original consortium.

Energy Efficiency News reported last month the Longannet carbon capture and storage project, the last one standing in the UK government’s long-running £1 billion ($1.6 billion) CCS demonstration programme also fell through. reported mid-October, in contrast to the problems facing the clean coal project, the biomass conversion of the Tilbury, UK, power plant is on schedule to be completed before the end of this year.

The coal-fired power station on the banks of the Thames, previously scheduled for shut down in 2015 under new EU environmental regulations, will produce 750 megawatts of green power, the largest in the world. The clean coal project is designed to produce 1,852 megawatts with carbon capture for about 20% of its output from the star

A leaked European roadmap for energy use showed the use of coal for power generation dropping dramatically and that within 20 years all homes on the continent could be powered by wind-generated electricity.

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