With news that Ayrshire Power is to formally submit their application (2 June) to build a coal fired power station at Hunterston, Friends of the Earth Scotland continue to express concern that this development is unnecessary, financially irresponsible and unethical.

Ayrshire Power are believed to be proposing a new coal fired power station, to be fitted with about 25% Carbon Capture and Storage capability. This proposal will meet current government guidelines but in a week when the Scottish Parliament urged the Government to be more ambitious in our plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, is exactly the wrong kind of proposal.

Juliet Swann, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns said: “On Thursday the Scottish Parliament agreed that action to cut emissions should be a priority. This proposal for an additional fossil fuelled power plant simply does not fit with that sense of priority.

“Scotland can work to tackle climate change and have a bright economic future without fossil fuels. Indeed, we could be the green power house of Europe, but we must ensure investment is channelled into renewable energy that best utilises our natural resources, not dirty coal imported from Columbia.

“To lock ourselves in to managing decades of new emissions is foolhardy at best and irresponsible at worse. We have a responsibility to reduce emissions now, and to plan for a low-carbon future, which simply cannot include additional coal fired generation. To direct investment into an unsustainable energy source is a distraction from the massive potential emissions, employment and economic benefits to Scotland of renewable energy.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to editors

“The Power of Scotland Renewed” report shows that it is possible to have a clean, green energy supply in Scotland. By 2030 renewable energy can meet between 60% and 143% of Scotland’s projected annual electricity demand, depending of the level of investment in energy saving and new renewables. The analysis also demonstrates that it is entirely plausible that no large-scale fossil fired generating capacity would remain online by 2030. www.foe-scotland.org.uk/powerofscotlandrenewed

The development at Hunterston will have 25% Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) from day 1 – we believe that CCS should be demonstrated on existing plants before new build goes ahead without being 100% confident of being able to use CCS on 100% of the plant.

Friends of the Earth Scotland is working in an informal coalition with a number of other organisations opposed to the development at Hunterston including RSPB Scotland and WWF Scotland. We are also supporting the legal action being taken against the inclusion of the Hunterston development in the National Planning Framework.

Friends of the Earth Scotland is the country’s leading independent environmental campaigning organisation, and is the only organisation in Scotland that is working for environmental justice, campaigning for the planet and its people. www.foe-scotland.org.uk