Europe is backing it's climate CO2 reduction targets with an investment of £ 250 mil to be confirmed within the next few weeks into the Drax power station based near Selby. With plenty of construction gangs from Scarborough having worked on sites at Drax, a coal based power station that has in the last few years added two bio-mass production units, though the third has reportedly been postponed (it has been said they don't work) this has to be great news for the region.
However the EU investment into The White Rose Project is based on the CCS (carbon capture sequestration), as Linda McAvan MEP reports to the Yorkshire Post: “The European Union is keen to invest in CCS technology in order to meet its ambitious climate action targets." And “With Yorkshire in the best position to deliver this project, I am hopeful that development will go ahead, allowing our region to reap the benefits of this huge pot of EU funding.”
But reading through the YP report, the funding is for 'the building of a new coal-fired power plant on the Drax site which could also be fuelled with biomass. The plant would generate enough power for around 600,000 homes but crucially, around 90 per cent of the greenhouse gases generated would be captured and transported by pipeline to be stored under the North Sea. It would be one of only three of its type in the world and the first in Europe. It is hoped the project would be the first step in Yorkshire developing world leading expertise in this area. Yorkshire is considered to be a prime candidate for developing CCS technology because of its history as a centre for power generation and proximity to the North Sea where the sea bed can be used for storage. It is envisaged a pipeline network could eventually be developed to take and store harmful gases from power generators and heavy industry across the region.' http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/politics/decision-on-mul...
Does this mean that the North Sea is the preferred option for off-shore shale gas extraction - ie creating the voids to store CCS, or further is the North Sea the area most likely to be targetted for the process of Underground Coal burning and gasification?
As mentioned before, the North Sea, our North Sea, has much experience in off-shore energy production, the infrastructure and resources are already in place to synthesise with the new technologies becoming available to pursue independent energy supply to the UK and via the National Grid to Europe.
However this investment into Drax from the EU perhaps offers some counter balance from the UK Govts. U- turn on investment into the Bio Mass plant: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/23/uk-drax-group-biomass-idUKBREA3... 'The government's move is a blow to Drax's plans to modernise its polluting coal plant in Yorkshire, northern England, to burn more environment-friendly biomass after two units were shortlisted to receive investment contracts in December.'
Another U-turn by the Govt, on investment into renewable Solar energy is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27393805 'The governments proposals highlight concerns that this switch to solar is happening far too quickly. They are worried that by 2017 there will be more solar energy being produced than the UK could afford.'
Clearly the present Govt. have no fixed policy on meeting the UK's energy supply. Indeed you could ask if they have a plan? It would seem more like a free for all, with Cameron and his cronies backing the frackers and with a general election less than a year away it would be difficult for any industry giant to want to invest long term in the UK, unless the UK remains firmly within the EU whose regulations and policies, though tiresome, set a terra-frima or solid ground for the longer term.
Another Angry Voice seems to have hit the nail on the head "On 30 July 2013 George Osborne's father-in law David Howell stunned the House of Lords with some absurd remarks about the North East of England during a debate about fracking. His remarks were so ridiculous that they even drew gasps from the assorted unelected political stooges that occupy the anti-democratic upper house. Here's what he said:
"there are large and uninhabited and desolate areas, certainly in part of the North East where there's plenty of room for fracking, well away from anybody's residence"
AAV goes on to say: It is absolutely clear from these two declared financial interests that Howell is a professional lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry, and a small amount of further digging reveals that several of his clients have direct financial interests in the fracking business.
Shell - One of the largest players in the global fracking business
BP - Major investments in fracking
British Gas - 40% owner of Cuadrilla (who already have dozens of fracking licenses across the UK) .
Marathon Oil - Major player in the US fracking business.
Whilst my money would be on offshore shale gas extraction and UCB it is always good to be prepared for the worst. (Brownies not Scouts)