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Government urged to back clean coal technology


BRITAIN is in danger of losing billions of pounds of business in the energy sector because the government is not investing in clean coal technology, consultants warned last week.

Energy services company Mitsui Babcock said the government needs to invest at least £20M per year in cleaner coal technologies if the UK is to get a shot at competing for business in the lucrative Chinese market.

Over 90% of the world's boilers for coal fired power plant were sold to China last year.

'Government policies have failed to support the UK industry in clean coal technology, ' said Mitusi Babcock director of technology Mike Farley.

ICE energy board chairman David Anderson agreed. 'It is a genuine concern. We believe that the government should invest more in clean coal technologies, including carbon capture and storage, ' he said.

Mitsui Babcock claims that unless more is invested in research and demonstration projects, using boilers that are up to 50% efficient, other countries will beat the UK to win the work in China.

The USA, Germany, Australia and Japan are investing heavily in clean coal technologies.

'All the government's investment is in renewables. We need a wider ranging policy which includes other fuels, ' said King.

Mitsui Babcock also released figures illustrating that improving efficiency at the UK's 16 coal fired power plants would achieve 22-32Mt of carbon savings every year, equivalent to building up to 5,000 2MW wind turbines but costing £3bn less.

Carbon emissions can be significantly reduced by retrofitting more efficient boilers onto existing coal fired plant.

These plants are currently only 30% efficient.

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