30 Sep 2009

Help stop biofuel power station in Bristol

Local Green Party groups in Newham, Ealing, Newport and Portland have helped stop 3 out of 3 biofuel power stations being granted planning permission. Since the power stations would very likely use palm oil, this has saved 30,000 hectares of rainforest being destroyed or if it was EU land to provide feedstock, the land saved can feed over a 100,000 people. Now the threat of a station has come to Avonmouth. Biofuelwatch have written asking me to help publicise this latest threat: the info below is mostly from them.

Photo: from Russ

The plans in Portland by W4B Renewable Energy for a biofuel power station were rejected by Weymouth and Portland Council, amidst concerns about the impact of biofuels in general and palm oil in particular on the climate, on forests and other ecosystems and on communities in the global South. There were also concerns over air pollution and public health in nearby areas.

Now W4B has submitted plans for a biofuel power station more than twice the size of the largest one applied for before. They want to build a 50 MW power station at Avonmouth Docks in Bristol, which would burn 90,000 tonnes of vegetable oil, most likely palm oil, every year. More than 22,000 hectares of oil palm plantations would be required to feed this one power station, and even more land if other feedstock was used.

W4B have mentioned jatropha as well as palm oil, yet jatropha is not yet commercially available, many plantings are failing, yet thousands of people have already lost their land and livelihood for jatropha plantations to feed Europe’s biofuel market. Peat expert Professor Siegert of Munich University has said about palm oil power stations in Germany: “We were able to prove that the making of these plantations and the burning of the rainforests and peat areas emits many thousands of times as much CO2 as we then are able to prevent by using palm oil. And that is a disastrous balance for the climate.” Ever more communities in countries like Colombia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Ecuador are losing their land to palm oil companies, with plantation expansion to a large extent driven by Europe’s biofuel policies.

Biofuelwatch also suggest local residents will be affected by increased levels of nitrogen oxide and small particulates which are linked to respiratory and cardiac disease. Avonmouth in particular already has high levels of pollution. I am not sure if this is likely to cut much ice with the regulators. Ground level NOx and particulates from this plant will be unlikely to breach accepted limits.

Anyhow there is plenty wrong with this plant so please go and object to this application at:

If you live in Bristol I am sure they could do with help campaigning on this - and if you live in or near London go along to the demonstration outside the Department for Energy and Climate Change in London on 12th October at 6.30 pm against the subsidies for biofuels. For
more information, see www.campaigncc.org/biofuels

Without 'green energy' subsidies, biofuel power stations like the one planned in Bristol would not be viable.

1 comment:

Philip Booth said...

50 MW Bristol biomass plant rejected1

An application for a £70 million biomass plant in Avonmouth, which would burn up to 90,000 tonnes of vegetable oil per annum, was rejected by Bristol city council's planning committee on Wednesday (February 24) after it received 1,119 objections to the proposal.
To read the full story, visit:http://ow.ly/1pScA