Welsh coal can solve Britain’s problems

Oct 12, 2005 02:00 AM

by David Williamson

Ogmore's MP will tell the House of Commons that one of the solutions to the world's energy problems is found beneath Welsh soil. Huw Irranca-Davies will warn Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks against ruling out Clean Coal Technology (CCT) as a source of power.
Prime Minister Tony Blair told a meeting of the parliamentary Labour Party that the Government needed to take action now to avoid an energy crisis in the future. The Prime Minister said the idea of clean coal technology should be under consideration.

Although no areas have been identified, Wales would be a prime candidate for the return of wide-scale mining.
Mr Irranca-Davies wants the Department for Trade and Industry to commit itself to an ambitious programme of new clean coal power stations which would use remaining British reserves. He is concerned that the intensifying debate will pitch nuclear energy against renewables, with CCT not being taken seriously.

"The UK is currently decommissioning its civiliannuclear programme and could face stiff opposition to further developments in this field," he said. "Meanwhile, although they have a vital role to play, renewables are unlikely to meet our full energy demands for many years to come.”
"Against this backdrop the main energy dilemma facing the Government over the next few decades will be how to use non-renewables more efficiently so as to respect our international environmental treaty obligations. Recognising that a heavy reliance on imported oil and gas undermines the UK's energy security, it seems logical to look to that vast, neglected energy source beneath our own feet -- British coal."

In the debate he will state 250 mm tons of useable coal reserves remain beneath South Wales alone.
Mr Irranca-Davies will also argue the UK could become a world leader in the development and export of CCT, with many of Britain's most deprived communities receiving the greatest economic benefits.
He said, "The governments in Westminster and the Welsh Assembly have both recognised that CCT has a role to play in achieving a sustainable low-carbon economy but they need to invest in this technology now if they are to fully exploit the benefits of this clean, secure and cheap energy source."

Source: Trinity Mirror
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