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Campaigners criticise carbon capture plans

Environmental campaigners have criticised plans to add Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology at Peterhead gas power station. 

The gas power station is owned by energy company SSE and in 2018 and 2019 it was Scotland’s most polluting industrial site, responsible for 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019.

SSE has announced that they will use CCS technology to reduce their emissions, but campaigners have criticised this move, stating it is an attempt to delay the closure of the gas power station.

Fossil fuel-based Carbon Capture and Storage is not currently capable of operating with zero emissions. During the initial deployment of CCS in the power sector, capture rates are often around 65%, gradually building to 90% capture only after several years of operations.

Despite hundreds of millions of government support, there is also currently no carbon capture and storage facility working anywhere in the UK.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s climate campaigner Jess Cowell said: ‘This proposal is an attempt to use the illusory promise of carbon capture to delay the inevitable closure of the fossil-fuelled power station at Peterhead.

‘Scotland’s improved targets for emissions reductions by 2030 mean there is an urgent need to prioritise proven solutions such as renewables and electrification rather than backing the dangerous distraction of CCS which might not deliver.

‘Energy giants like SSE should be involving their workers and communities affected in planning for a proper transition away from fossil-fuelled energy production in the North East.

‘Carbon Capture will only prolong the life of the oil and gas industry at exactly the time when we should be rapidly transitioning away from fossil fuels.’

In related news, carbon capture technology will not solve the climate crisis, a report says.

The vast majority (81%) of carbon captured globally to date has been used to extract more oil via the process of Enhanced Oil Recovery, according to a new report conducted by the Tyndall Centre and commissioned by Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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