Energy giant EDF is pushing for the development of a new opencast coal mine in the north of England, according to a letter seen by Energydesk. On May 24, a top EDF executive wrote to Northumberland County Council to throw its weight behind an application for a huge new coal mine at Druridge Bay. In the letter, head of generation liaison Scott Forbes says: “I am writing to ask that you recommend the Highthron surface mine proposal for approval.” Coal, he explains, “will remain important as we transition to a lower carbon economy” and “indigenous coal provides a reliable and secure source.”
Energy Desk 15th June 2016 read more »
A UK shale gas company is considering dumping waste water from fracking in the sea, emails from the company show. Ineos, which owns the Grangemouth refinery and holds 21 shale licences, many in the north-west, North Yorkshire and the east Midlands, has said it wants to become the biggest player in the UK’s nascent shale gas industry. In an email sent in March to a resident in Ryedale district, North Yorkshire, where councillors gave the go-ahead to a fracking application by another company in May, a senior executive said that water produced during fracking could be discharged in the sea after being treated. It has not previously said where treated water would be released.
Guardian 15th June 2016 read more »
Letter Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary: The growing number of voices across Scottish industrial and political life speaking-up for the potential benefits of fracking should be welcomed because, after all, this is a debate about our energy future and the national interest. According to the Scottish Government’s own data, 78 per cent of Scottish households need gas to heat their homes – an increase of six per cent over the last decade. Our chemicals manufacturing sector, a huge chunk of what little we have left of manufacturing in Scotland, needs gas as an affordable feedstock. So the idea that we can heat our homes or run our industries without fossil fuels anytime soon is a nonsense and fracking presents a viable opportunity to help address the economic, employment and energy challenges of today and tomorrow. That’s why the sobering interventions from the likes of Ineos Upstream Chief Executive Gary Haywood and former deputy leader of the SNP Jim Sillars should snap the likes of Scottish Labour out of their slumbering on fracking. Abandoning a balanced energy strategy will mean importing more gas from questionable regimes which have no regard whatsoever for human rights or the environment, never mind tackling fuel poverty or redistributing wealth in the form of job creation. Indeed, the likely reality for many people will be an increase in their heating bills as affordable gas comes offline and dependence on more expensive electricity from renewables increases. There is no political kudos to be earned here. The mature and sensible course of action would be to allow the consultations, studies and testing to take place on fracking while debating as a parliament about how we can maximise and regulate the opportunities it affords us.
Herald 16th June 2016 read more »