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Protests over approval for British coal power plant

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Jan 3, 2008
A local authority on Thursday approved plans to build Britain's first coal-fired power station in 24 years, sparking criticism from environmental campaigners and calls for the government to block the move.

Greenpeace slammed the decision by Medway council in Kent, southeastern England, to let energy giant E.ON replace existing coal-fired units at Kingsnorth power station with two new cleaner coal units.

E.ON said the new units, costing one billion pounds, would produce enough energy to supply 1.5 million homes with power and cut carbon emissions by almost two million tons a year compared to existing coal-fired power stations.

However more than 9,000 people have objected to the plans which have also come under fire from environmental campaigners including Greenpeace.

"A new generation of coal-fired power stations in the UK beginning with Kingsnorth would quite simply end any hope we have that Britain can meet its long-term climate change targets," Greenpeace official Ben Stuart told the BBC.

The environmental group warned that the units would create a highly carbon-intensive and inefficient form of energy generation and would go against government policy on climate change and energy sources.

The final decision on the project rests with the government, but the energy company was upbeat about its chances of going ahead with the plan.

"We're delighted the council has found in favour of the scheme. This is the first hurdle, the final decision rests with the Government, but we're confident the plans will go ahead," said E.On spokesman Jonathan Smith.

But Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Robin Webster said it was very disappointing that the local council had given its green light.

"If it is serious about tackling climate change the Government must throw out this proposal and promote investment in clean and green alternative," he said.

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First US Commercial Wave Energy Power Purchase Agreement
San Francisco CA (SPX) Jan 03, 2008
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