Thursday 8th December brought some good news has emerged about the plans for UCG underneath the Dee Estuary, where Cluff Natural Resources had planned to literally set fire to the coal bed and starve it of oxygen, to collect the gas released from the partially burned coal in-situ.
This article from The Guardian suggests that the plans have effectively been killed off by a new report which says
…if power stations used gas from the method, it would be 40-100% dirtier in terms of CO2 emissions than burning gas from the North Sea and imports. Exploiting all the UK’s coal reserves would release the equivalent of 24 years of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
As a result, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the government was “minded to not support” the technique. Underground coal gasification has proved controversial elsewhere in the world, particularly over its environmental impact in Australia, and Scotland banned it in October.
It is considered very unlikely that the technique would take off in the UK without any financial or legislative support.
So this is potentially good news indeed, but it seems that there are no firms decisions made right at this moment, although it is heartening to read the comments from Cluff Natural Resources that say they have moved their business away from, and are no longer interested in UCG.
A quick look at their website shows that their UCG licenses still feature on the assets portfolio, so until this is actually removed we are keeping our fingers crossed about this news. Their most recent comments seem to contradict their stance taken in this article written in the Guardian only a few months ago in July 2015
Back in May 2015 concerned local residents from across Cheshire, The Wirral and North Wales came together as Frack Free Dee to raise awareness of the issue, giving presentations and information stalls at community events, with great interest coming from a newly formed group in Prestatyn, including former employees at the Point of Ayr colliery who were firmly opposed to these developments.
More information can be found in this article
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