Ed Miliband – Question 4
Can the Secretary of State reassure CPRE that there will be no new investment in coal generation without tried and tested CCS technologies, particularly in relation to the proposed new coal power station at Kingsnorth in Kent?
There will be no new coal-fired power stations without CCS.
Part of the reason for this is to reduce our own emissions, and partly it is precisely to test the technology at scale. It has already been proved in its different parts, and at small scale, but the test that remains is to fit it all together at industrial scale. Britain can make a major contribution to the fight against climate change if we demonstrate it. India and China, for example, both get two thirds of their power from coal.
If we waited until CCS was proven elsewhere, we would be ducking our obligation to help drive the technology, could delay the availability of CCS here and elsewhere – and would be losing the chance for Britain to be at the front of a new industry with global potential.
Instead, I announced proposals for there to be no new coal-fired power plants in this country without demonstrating carbon capture and storage – working from day one, capturing a substantial portion of emissions. They will also have to retrofit CCS to their full capacity within five years of CCS being proven.