New gas power plant must be rejected to meet climate targets, says campaigners

A new gas power plant proposed in Peterhead, Scotland could put climate targets at risk and must be rejected on these grounds, urges environmental campaigners.

Scottish energy company SSE has submitted a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council for a new 910MW gas power station to be built on site of an existing 1180MW plant.

The proposal includes plans for a carbon capture and storage (CCS) plant to attempt to capture some of the pollution generated by the power stations which could operate at full capacity.

However, Friends of the Earth Scotland has highlighted that CCS technology is still new and its effects are not well known.

Investigative news site, The Ferret, discovered that SSE’s existing Peterhead power plant was Scotland’s biggest single polluter in 2018, 2019 and 2020, emitting 1.3m tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2020 alone.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Climate Campaigner, Alex Lee, said: ‘If the Scottish Government were to approve a new gas fired power station at Peterhead that would lock in continued use of fossil fuels for our energy for decades to come.

‘Like the defeated Hunterston coal-power station before it, this development relies on carbon capture and storage technology coming online at some unspecified point in the future. Carbon capture and storage has a long history of repeated failure and even the Scottish Government has admitted that this technology will not happen this decade. But the whole Peterhead project is to be built on the rotten foundations of this unreliable techno-fix.‘It’s time for the Scottish Government to show real climate leadership by rejecting it, and committing to the decisions that need to be made for a just and rapid transition away from fossil fuels.’

Research by Friends of the Earth Scotland found CCS technology will not help to cut emissions to where they need to be by 2030, with just 26 plants in operation globally.

In several cases the technology failed to reach predicted targets and was ultimately abandoned.

81% of carbon captured has later been used to extract more oil through Enhanced Oil Recovery, completely negating any positive environmental impacts.

Ministers have recently voiced their opposition to unlimited use of fossil fuels and have admitted technologies such as CCS would not be developed in the 2020s.

Photo by bhumann34 


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