“We must build Kingsnorth to get clean coal”

So argues Malcolm Wicks in the Guardian He warns that “all is lost on global warming” unless the world finds a new coal technology in the next few years. To effect this he is going to give permission for a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth so long as it is deemed “carbon capture ready”. Yet there will be no obligation on the owners to use carbon capture storage (CCS). Many people argue a date should be imposed by which time CCS should be running or the license withdrawn but Wicks refuses to do this. To get clean coal we will build a power station that does not have to operate clean coal. Confused?

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21 Responses to “We must build Kingsnorth to get clean coal”

  1. matt says:

    I’ve been meaning to put up a post about a report that concluded that there has been very little CCS investment, after all the hype. The technology is so unknown and as a result little interest has come from investors or governments.

    BP has just pulled out from such a scheme 2 years in the planning in Western Australia because they decided the geology was too unstable for CCS. I wonder, has the geology even been looked at surrounding Kingsnorth? I doubt it.

    This is Gordon Brown’s new ‘tough’ agenda; coal, nuclear & a new planning system to drive it all through. Oh and fcuk democracy.

  2. mistermanly says:

    Hi matt,

    I think your spell checker broke down on that last line.

    the Grit

  3. keithsc says:

    I suppose they are not too bothered about the geology if there is no compulsion to operate the CCS system.

  4. matt says:

    Yes, it’s probably that blatant Keith. Grit, interesting new avatar; you been eating muscle build for breakfast …

  5. the Grit says:

    Hi matt,

    Sorry, forgot to sign out before commenting. You should swing by Advice From Mister Manly and see the full sized version. It’s cool. Oh, and if you need such graphics, I enjoy making them, so feel free to ask.

    the Grit

  6. Pete Smith says:

    Well, I’m probably wildly out of step on this as usual, but my understanding was that the new plant at Kingsnorth is a replacement for the existing one, which is wildly polluting and due for decommissioning. Building the same or slightly greater capacity with reduced emissions, even without carbon capture, must be a good thing, no?
    As for CCS, this doesn’t really exist yet does it? So making it compulsory now would be a bit of a nonsense. Requiring the new plant to be CCS-ready is sensible, and leaves the way open for CCS regulations to be enforced as they emerge.

  7. matt says:

    You are full of surprises Pete.

    This government has refused to seriously fund research into CCS & companies have put in little, waiting for the govt to step in and help. So, neither parties should be talking CCS with this Kingsnorth application because at the end of the day the public know this is just hype to get the plan through. Lies, lies and damned lies, that is what people are fed up with.

    Side stepping the funding for alternative answers to stem CO2 emissions and even worse, side stepping the debate that’s needed, just ain’t playing cricket.

  8. Pete Smith says:

    Sorry, I just don’t get it. Again I ask, what is so wrong with replacing an old, dirty coal power station with a new, efficient, cleaner one?

  9. matt says:

    Everyone understands better efficiency is a good thing. What some people don’t want is coal being used as the source on energy. And being fobbed off with CCS is very naughty indeed.

  10. keithsc says:

    Or not CCS as might well be the case. Yes it would be more efficient than what is there at the moment but would be it clean enough to meet our aims to reduce emissions without CCS or even with CCS? And should we not be looking for cleaner sources of power for the future?

  11. keithsc says:

    “On Wednesday, leading US climate change scientist Professor James Hansen gave evidence at Maidstone and called for a moratorium on the building of new coal-fired power stations in order to prevent runaway climate change. He estimated that Kingsnorth, which emits 20,000 tonnes of C02 a day, would be responsible for the extinction of 400 species.” From the report of the trial of the Greenpeace activists who have been acquitted.

  12. mistermanly says:

    Hi keithsc,

    Hansen doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s just a shill for the Global Warming industry, and only in it for the money. Really, that man almost makes me ashamed to be an American.

    As to new sources of power, of course we should be looking for them, and we are. One must, however, realize that, until suitable technologies are developed, life must go on, and that includes burning coal. The environmentalists should exercise great caution in this area, and in related power producing projects, because, if enough people experience brown outs because of their meddling, governments will change, and the new ones will be quite likely to put trouble makers against the wall.

    the Grit

  13. keithsc says:

    Hi Grit

    The point of the post wasn’t to stop using coal completely but if it is used we should be making it as clean as possible and insist on the cleanest technology possible. What is the point of making a power station carbon capture ready but not ensure it is used?

  14. matt says:

    See this article: World’s First Carbon Sequestration Plant Goes Online.

    Very timely to this discussion. At the moment the power plant in Germany is trucking the CO2 to an old natural gas reservoir 350km away!! The operation is experimental and will lose money.

  15. keithsc says:

    The technology needs to be proved and this is a step towards it. Did you see that the Greenpeace protesters at Kingnorth have been found innocent. I was at a Quaker conference on Thursday and there was an appeal from the BBC for a speaker to compare this case to the case in the 17th century when William Penn was accused of illegal assembly and found innocent by the jury but the judge refused to accept the jury’s verdict and sent the jury to prison. The case became important in determining the freedom of the jury. No I didn’t volunteer to speak.

  16. matt says:

    What, the BBC trying to manufacture, or shall we say encourage, a story. Naughty journalist! Yes I did hear about the Greenpeace protestors being let off by the jury. Interesting take on the situation and one of the reasons I’m thankful that we live in a country with a reasonably sound judicial system.

  17. the Grit says:

    Hi keithsc,

    The point is that trying to restrict CO2 emissions is just another step in the radical environmentalist plan to make technology too expensive for common people to use. It’s even worse in this case as there’s no evidence that proves any danger from the practice. Keep in mind that James Hansen, the person behind the Global Warming Scare, has admitted to exaggerating his claims of doom and gloom to get attention and more research funding from the Government. There are plenty of other valid environmental concerns to focus on, instead of worrying about power plants putting out the same gas we do every time we exhale. On the other hand, you’ve given me an idea for a good ranting blog post. Thanks!

    Hi matt,

    I just love you Brits, seriously. Heck, if some English guy came over here and played Hansen’s role in a major trial, he’d need police protection to get out of the country alive, but y’all are so laid back that you don’t mind at all. Most admirable.

    On the other hand, such a verdict would raise hell over here, as our legal system tends to take concepts to the extreme. Really, if the legal concept of “I thought he/she/they/it was going to do harm to me/others/stuff so I broke/damaged/shot/burned/etc. he/she/they/it” became an accepted defense, our streets would run with blood, cities would burn, and public figures, such as but not limited to – politicians, movie makers, writers, actors, business owners, farmers, promiscuous people, and Catholic priests – would only be able to leave their homes with security precautions like those taken by the President. Shucks, I can think of two or three valid reasons, under that assumption, that would allow me to shoot the next person who cuts me off in traffic. So, while I’m thrilled that your society can deal with this kind of vague rule, if you see such put in place over here, I would advise you to stockpile supplies and build a fallout shelter.

    the Grit

  18. keithsc says:

    Well Grit I’m glad to give you an idea for a good rant. Somehow I don’t think you have too much difficulty thinking of one. Yet to say “there is no evidence that proves any danger” is breathtaking in ignoring 99% of scientific evidence. I absolutely agree there are other pressing environmental issues – do you pay more attention to the scientists on those issues?

  19. the Grit says:

    Hi k,

    I take it that you’re not familiar with how “science” works. Most research facilities, particularly those funded by the Government, are controlled by bureaucrats, so the results they report are aimed more toward getting more grants than at finding the truth. All you have to do to see the truth in this is take a look at what NASA hasn’t been doing for the last 30 years, or at the sudden massive increase in the number of “climate scientists” in recent years, most of whom have degrees in other fields, but who know where the Government money is. Not, mind you, that I blame them. Even scientists have to make a living after all.

    Thus, to know what the real truth is, one has to look at the data supporting the theory being pushed. In the case of Global Warming, said data is almost nonexistent. For instance, and you can dig this stuff up on our Government web sites if you’re persistent, Hansen’s initial claims of warmer temperature trends are based on data sets that include no historical record in India, less than 10 points in Africa, less than 10 points in Antarctica, (and best I can recall) less than 100 points in the old USSR, China, and Europe. Then, we have to take into consideration that numerous assumptions were made in order to account for suspected irregularities or systemic errors in each and every one of the weather stations included in the basic calculations. The next step in acquiring the initial data to support Global Warming was to include the historical, and highly erratic, ocean temperature data, which required making the “logical” assumption that temperature changes at a depth of three to six feet in the ocean corresponded exactly to air temperature changes three feet above the surface, and that the exact sample location wasn’t really all that important.

    While all of this was an interesting mathematical experiment, what they did next is the key; they assumed that these sparse temperature measurements can be extrapolated to give accurate readings between data points. Although even a quick look at your local weather map will prove this assumption false, that sort of hands on information doesn’t deter the scientific elite, so we are stuck with spending billions and billions of dollars of tax money to further research something that our politicians have already accepted as fact, and you can rest assured that none of that research is going to derail the money train.

    To sum up, you have to remember that scientists are also people, and that they are just as susceptible to corruption as, say, politicians. For instance, you should note that all of the findings by scientists on the payroll of tobacco companies were quickly discredited for just such cause. I fail to see why the source of financial gain is relevant.

    As to other scientists and other issues, I attempt to apply the same standards. I do, however, admit that, since most issues aren’t going to affect my life, and my child’s life, and the lives of my grandchildren, to such an extent as Global Warming will, I’m not quite so complete in my research. There is, after all, only so much time in a day.

    the Grit

  20. keithsc says:

    Hi Grit

    You do seem to be forgetting the vast amount of money the oil companies have had to find maverick scientists who disagree with the premise of global warming. To quote from the latest IPCC report: “There is no single thermometer measuring the global temperature. Instead, individual thermometer measurements taken every day at several thousand stations over the land areas of the world are combined with thousands more measurements of sea surface temperatures taken from ships moving over the oceans to produce a global average temperature each month. (Fourth assessment report). They are not all in the United States as you seem to believe.

  21. the Grit says:

    Hi k,

    Don’t fool yourself by thinking that Government funded bodies – like the IPCC, NOAH, and our colleges – have less money to spend on this sort of thing than Big Oil. Keep in mind that Big Oil still has to run a profitable business, while the others only have to maintain the appearance of a “cause” to keep the flow of Government money flowing.

    As to the IPCC quote, that’s a lie. They only have something around a thousand long term surface station sites to draw historical measurements from, and, most of them are in the US. To overcome this insane lack of raw data, the “climate scientists” supporting the Global Warming Scam go through some amazing statistical gymnastics to take the limited data they have and project it globally. While I admire their their work ethic, their science is junk. Oh, and if you want to see the biased inside workings of the IPCC, look up the working team reports from the previous one. It’s the only one where they were they were forced to release their internal documentation because they made the mistake of hosting the proceedings in the US so they came under our Freedom Of Information law. You’ll notice that none of the internal documentation from their other reports has been released. In case you don’t have time to look it up I’ll summarize the important parts which consist mostly of conversations along the line of: “You can’t publish (insert some part of the final report) because it’s not scientifically valid. Yes it is.” Keep in mind that the IPCC reports are Political documents, not Scientific ones.

    There is also a lie in the statement you quoted concerning ocean temperature measurements. The historical temperature record, on which the theory of global warming rests, are not surface readings, but are water temperature measurements, taken at inconsistent depths, from inexact locations, by untrained agents, and extrapolated into becoming part of the global near surface temperature data record.

    Also, on the line of the 1,000 trustworthy weather stations scattered about the planet, the Earth has a surface area of 510,072,000 square kilometers. That would mean that, even assuming an absolutely even distribution of the 1,000 weather stations and taking into consideration that 75% of the planet is water, that every weather station data point represents 12,751.8 square kilometers of surface area. Sorry, but the county I live in is a good deal smaller and we have temperature variations on a daily basis of several degrees (F.) Hardly the stuff to make world decisions on.

    the Grit

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