Public backs coal- and gas-power generation

Posted on 19 Oct 2017 and read 545 times
Public backs coal- and gas-power generation A large proportion (50%) of the public would back the construction of new coal- and gas-fired power stations, if it was possible to capture and store any emissions produced, according to a new survey by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (www.imeche.org).

The survey, which looked at public views on UK electricity generation, found that the public also seem to prioritise security of supply and climate change over price.

Some 35% said that the Government’s first priority should be generating enough power to meet all our domestic and industrial needs, while 32% said the priority should be generating electricity that has the least impact on our climate.

Meanwhile, just 23% said the top priority should be generating electricity that is cheapest for the consumer.

Responding to the findings, Jenifer Baxter — head of energy and environment at the IMechE — said: “Government has abandoned plans to support carbon capture and storage technology in any significant way, despite studies and many pathways showing that this technology is vital to meeting climate-change targets.

Carbon capture and storage offers huge potential to retroactively decarbonise our existing fleet, as well as offering the potential to build new low-carbon power plants fuelled by gas.

These results show that this sort of negative emissions technology also has broad support from the public. If the Government is serious about providing a secure and diverse electricity system, it must focus on reducing energy demand, improving energy efficiency and introducing carbon capture and storage.”

Other findings of the public-perceptions study include the fact that 54% would not support a nuclear power station being located within 10 miles of their home, compared with 52% for a coal-fired power station, 38% for a gas-fired power station, 30% for a biomass power station and 16% for a wind or solar farm.

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