Sulphuric acid will fall on Cumbrae

A lady who attended the recent exhibition held by Ayrshire Power for their proposed coal station plan has issued a warning.

In a letter to the Largs & Millport Weekly News Mrs Sybil Simpson stated:

“My husband and I attended the exhibition for the Hunterston coal-fired Power Station and were appalled at the lack of thought which has gone into this proposed venture.

It would appear that none of the representatives lived in the area so their climatic working knowledge of the area = NIL. They present a picture showing the alleged fallout of sulphur dioxide, where, according to them, the wind is always prevailing from the west, and this sulphur dioxide fallout is in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and covers quite an area.

However tasked with the question when there is a calm day with rain, they seem to not be able to grasp that sulphuric acid will fall on the houses in Fairlie and Largs. Not only do they not grasp this but they do not seem to be concerned. When asked about the prevailing winds and snow from the east which happens a lot in wintertime, they were not up to acknowledging that sulphuric acid will fall on Millport and the Firth of Clyde.”

Letter: Energy plans

I was encouraged to learn from Duncan McLaren (Letters, 23 December) that Friends of the Earth, WWF Scotland and RSPB Scotland all “support the demonstration of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in Scotland”.

As organisations concerned with the environment, they must then surely consider each such proposal on its merits and determine which offer long-term environmental benefits and can support the fight against global warming. Unfortunately, there has been little sign of such rational behaviour from these organisations.

It is no part of our role to play off the Ayrshire Power proposal against others in Scotland as we strongly support the Scottish Government’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) Roadmap policy and the chance for Scotland to take the lead in developing and implementing CCS solutions.

However, surely any responsible environmental organisation would wish to consider the benefits of a new, state-of-the-art power station with CCS alongside the benefits of retro-fitting existing power stations which Mr McLaren advocates.

I am pleased the Scottish Government’s statutory consultees need to read and understand the thorough, detailed analysis contained within the Ayrshire Power planning application and to assess the conclusions on their merit.

The version of “support” for CCS favoured by Mr McLaren coincides with the interests of the two very large companies which dominate the Scottish electricity market. Last week the government launched its draft proposals on the Energy Market Reforms, a key objective of which is to encourage new low carbon generators into the existing electricity market.

Some of their members might find this a rather uncomfortable place for Friends of the Earth, WWF Scotland and RSPB Scotland to position themselves in.

Muir Miller

PeelEnergy Limited

Peel Dome, The Trafford Centre


Your correspondents railing against the turbine takeover of our land are spitting into the wind: the SNP government will not listen. In this it is encouraged and abetted by a new political phenomenon – non-opposition.

Normal practice is routinely automatic but, faced with a weak minority administration, Labour, Tories and Lib Dems make no outcry – unheard of parliamentary unanimity.

Are we to believe they all rejoice at the monstrous 140-turbine Eaglesham “superfarm” reportedly capable of powering 180,000 homes? Unqualified, this implies that it will actually do so, and permanently.

Given the wide range of wind strengths, it is almost inevitable that the suggested performance will never be achieved.

The only effective argument available to us is the certainty of economic decline as we are out-performed and impoverished by powerful overseas competitors who have made it abundantly clear that they have no intention of matching our stupidity.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road


Read more at:

Scotland has CCS capacity to process a century of CO2 output

A consortium of Scottish Government, industry and researchers have shown that rocks deep beneath the Moray Firth are capable of storing decades of CO2 output from Scotland’s power stations.

And the emerging Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) industry could create at least 13,000 new Scottish jobs by 2020.

These are key findings of the report, ‘Progressing Scotland’s CO2 storage opportunities’, which was unveiled today at a media launch hosted by Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) and the Scottish Energy Minister Jim Mather MSP.

Detailed research calculates that rock, known as the Captain Sandstone, buried more than half a mile beneath the Moray Firth could store at least 15 years, and potentially a century’s worth of CO2 output from Scotland’s power industry.

Professor Eric Mackay from SCCS said “This is an exciting and landmark moment in the development of carbon capture and storage. The Captain Sandstone is just one of many rock formations filled with salt water in the central and northern North Sea.

“We have shown that this is a feasible site that could store massive amounts of CO2, helping the UK meet its targets for carbon emissions reduction. The future potential for this and other areas of the North Sea is immense.”

The SCCS research, funded by Scottish Government and a group of businesses within the energy sector, also showed that carbon capture and storage could create 13,000 jobs in Scotland by 2020, and another 14,000 elsewhere in the UK, spread across a wide range of skills. This would increase in subsequent years. Properly developed, the UK’s share of worldwide carbon capture and storage business could be worth more than £10 billion a year by around 2025.

Professor Mackay continued, “Our research indicates CO2 output captured from a fossil fuel-fired power station, like the existing plant at Longannet or Peterhead or any future capture projects such as at Hunterston, could be stored beneath the North Sea. The unique combination of government, industry and research capability provides Scotland with the opportunity to lead the way in the development of CCS. We look forward to further assessment of this and other parts of the North Sea to maximise the economic benefits.”

Today’s report builds on previous SCCS research which highlighted Scotland’s North Sea storage potential as being of European scale significance.

Energy Minister Jim Mather today welcomed the findings and the vote of confidence in Scotland’s R&D; expertise through the Scottish Funding Council’s £2 million funding for the SCCS, also announced today.

Energy Minister Jim Mather said: “Today’s research cements Scotland’s position as the number one location for CCS technology development and deployment in the world. CCS can create thousands of new low carbon jobs in Scotland and we must move quickly to seize the full economic and environmental opportunities.

“We already know the North Sea has an amazing carbon storage potential – the largest offshore storage capacity in Europe – offering up the prospect of storage of Scotland’s industrial emissions generated for the next 200 years. Today’s report now shows the Captain Sandstone, widespread under the Moray Firth, could store up to a century’s worth of carbon from Scotland’s major power plants.

“The research is a great example of the continued commitment of government, industry and academia coming together as a partnership to deliver new insights on the potential for carbon capture and storage projects. The new 2 million pounds funding from the Scottish Funding Council for the SCCS is extremely welcome and will build on that academic expertise in the areas of research, policy and technical expertise.

“We now need the UK Government to recognise the Scottish potential and award a CCS demonstrator project to Longannet, the outstanding contender left in the UK competition.”

Scotland’s potentially massive offshore CO2 storage capacity is of European significance. The European Union has specified that three of the eight CCS demonstrator plants that it will fund under its multi-billion euro demonstrator programme must inject into saline aquifers. The results from this study place Scotland in a strong position to secure future EU support for more detailed assessment of CO2 storage in saline aquifers.

But Green Party MSPs claim the CCS technology remains unproven and should only be considered an interim measure to reduce emissions from existing coal, oil and gas plants ahead of their early decommissioning.

They say research published last year concludes that “geologic sequestration of CO2 [is] a profoundly non-feasible option for the management of CO2 emissions” and warn coal remains exceptionally dirty to extract, with SNP Ministers having presided over a substantial increase in opencast extraction since 2007, while oil and gas prices will continue to rise over the longer term as reserves run down.

Patrick Harvie MSP said: “Carbon capture and storage remains an unproven technology, yet to be demonstrated anywhere in the world, and research published last year suggests it “cannot be made feasible at any cost”. With such question marks over the whole idea, SNP Ministers should not be predicting job numbers drawn up on the back of a fag packet. Scotland’s renewable potential can meet our power needs almost six times over, and if we had a Government prepared to commit to that task, we could already be exporting the surplus to our neighbours. Large-scale carbon capture, even if it eventually works, risks becoming a poor excuse to keep dirty power plants running longer.

“By all means let’s continue the research to see if some of the pollution from existing plants can be captured, but above all we must not allow the prospect of CCS be used to justify new coal power stations, as the SNP Government has tried to do. Ministers would be well advised to get behind renewables instead. We know they work, we know they’re clean, and we know they’ll bring real jobs for the long term.”

[Read the original article]

If they build coal plant….theyll sell it

Ayrshire Power have admitted that they are likely to seek out one of the big six to sell on their coal-fired power station plans.

Speaking at a special meeting of Largs Community Council last week, representatives of the firm behind the controversial Hunterston proposals answered questions and spoke candidly on issues surrounding the project.

However, they also revealed that they were now actively looking for funding partners to take the proposals forward – and massive utilities such as Npower, British Gas, EDF, Eon, Scottish Power, and Scottish and Southern, are in their sights.

Councillor Jerry Dawson said: Some of the cynics are saying you are only here to obtain a licence that you will then sell to one of the big six.

Managing Director Muir Miller replied: We do not know which company will run the power station. We have no experience of running a power station of this size. Before, we had (previous project partners) DONG, who had experience of building and operating this.

[Read the original article]

Gas pipeline to switch purpose to remove carbon emissions

Moves to ensure that the UK cuts its own climate emissions and is well placed to lead the world in development of clean-up technologies took a major step forward today, said WWF Scotland.

The environmental group was responding to the announcement by three of the UK’s largest energy companies to convert an onshore pipeline carrying up to two million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Scotland.

Commenting on the news, WWF Scotland’s Climate Policy Officer, Dr Sam Gardner, said: “The plan to replace the flow of North Sea gas in this pipeline with the carbon emissions from Longannet is a welcome step forward in moves to clean-up Scotland’s biggest power station with Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) technology.

“Changing the use of existing infrastructure to remove greenhouse gases rather than bringing even more polluting fossil fuels onshore is an important symbol of Scotland’s move toward becoming a green economy.

“The UK Government should move quickly to confirm Longannet as the winner of their interminable CCS funding competition or the UK risks losing a valuable opportunity to lead the world in development of this new technology.

“Using CCS at existing power stations is an important bridging technology in reducing climate change emissions, on the way to a 100 per cent renewable energy future. We hope the Scottish Government will ensure that such a future is not jeopardised and reject all attempts to build any new coal-fired power stations, such as that proposed at Hunterston in Ayrshire.”

Earlier this year a consortium of Scottish Government, industry and researchers, published a study suggesting that 13,000 new Scottish jobs could be created by 2020 from deploying Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology in Scotland.

[Read the original article]