Ayrshire Power have indicated that they plan to submit an application today (15 March) for the consent required to build a coal-fired power station at Hunterston.

Friends of the Earth Scotland comment

Friends of the Earth Scotland, along with WDM Scotland and local campaigners, are strongly opposed to this development. It does nothing to improve Scotland environmentally or financially and it sends entirely the wrong message about Scotland’s energy future.

Juliet Swann, Head of Campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Scotland has 25% of Europe’s renewable energy potential. The last kind of development that should be proposed as we enter the last decade in which we can make a difference to our climate is a new, polluting coal fired power station.”

The Scottish Government recently confirmed their position that any new coal-fired station would need to demonstrate carbon capture and storage (CCS) on at least 300 Megawatts of its capacity from day one and retro-fitting for those stations by no later than 2025, with 100% CCS expected on new builds from 2020.

Ms Swann added: “Carbon capture and storage is potentially a way to reach a low-carbon future.

“However, the carbon benefits are not yet proven and in any case it should be demonstrated on existing plants first, not least so we can share the technology with the rest of the world and in doing so repay our debt to them for supplying us with so much of our dirty energy.

“We are also concerned that this application is being made at a time when the inclusion of Hunterston in the National Planning Framework is the subject of a legal challenge. We would suggest Ayrshire Power should undertake a full and comprehensive local and national consultation, given the implications of this development both on the local area and the national ambition to move to a clean energy future.”

Liz Murray, Head of Campaigns and Networks, WDM Scotland, said: “At a time when Scotland should be looking for ways to repay its climate debt to the poorest countries, for its part in causing the problem of climate change, this planning application is a backwards step.

“Scotland should be playing a positive role in countering climate change, by decarbonising our energy supply.

“The Scottish Government must look at the bigger picture of global climate justice when it assesses this application and turn it down.”

ENDS

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

Notes to Editors

Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. www.foe-scotland.org.uk

WDM Scotland is the Scottish arm of the World Development Movement (WDM). WDM tackles the underlying causes of poverty. We lobby decision makers to change the policies that keep people poor. We research and promote positive alternatives. We work alongside people in the developing world who are standing up to injustice. www.wdmscotland.org.uk