The Big Push

Mortal Mindy's picture

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.'

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: '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: '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) 




Mortal Mindy's picture

The Whitby Wallow

Whitby is to reap benefit from the Doggerbank windfarm 'Cllr Cockerill said: “It has always been considered that our ports, as the closest in a straight line to the Dogger Bank, would be ideally placed to provide facilities for the operation and maintenance servicing required to support the Dogger Bank project, as well as others already under construction.

“I am pleased to be able to announce, following a number of preliminary meetings, that we have been formally approached by an existing operator of service vessels to establish a phased presence on Endeavour Wharf in Whitby.”

mmm last I heard they had already hired crew for two of the three service vessels, still empty vessels n all that ... blow wind blow ...

Mortal Mindy's picture

Over the Moon over A Pontoon

 So the company is Siemens and Whitby is more worried about parking?  Eh?


Should plans go ahead, a wind farm the size of North Yorkshire is set to be constructed at Dogger Bank. With Whitby being the nearest port to the development, the town is expected to have a vital role in the development.

“It is very much the first phase of what could be a mega turning point for the town,” explained Cllr Cockerill.

Therefore, he added that work is underway to prepare the harbour to ensure it is up to scratch.

At first there will be no manufacturing taking place on the site, and it will instead be used as an embarkation point for staff and goods that are to be shipped out to the wind farm.

However, Cllr Cockerill said this does not rule out the possibility of further development. He explained: “It’s more than likely at some stage that somebody will want to build an office block or a crew rest room, but at the moment we are just talking about the pontoon.”


Mortal Mindy's picture

Missed this Boat

but still afloat ....  "Using a newly developed pilot plant built in Belfast, the granulation system has successfully converted industrial/agricultural by-products, including sawdust, into high-value biomass fuel granules suitable for use in micro combined-heat-and-power (CHP) commercial and residential boilers and large-scale power plants."

lol :-)


Mortal Mindy's picture

thick as thieves...

Certain members of the 'stablishment' have been trying to remove Whitby Fish Market from Pier Road for a long long time,  ... it would seem that Chance has found an opportunity ....

hmmm 'harbour development' I think I asked questions about the Whitby Regatta becoming Whitby Regatta Ltd with some of the 'usual suspects'  side stepping out of the charlie foxtrot. 

The beat goes on ...

Mortal Mindy's picture

Power for the People

The Co-operative Party, which is part of the Labour movement, will this week call for a national community energy revolution in Britain, modelled on Germany's highly successful example of giving freedom and control to locally-owned renewable suppliers.

The plan is endorsed by the Shadow Energy Secretary, Caroline Flint, and is expected to be included in Ed Miliband's manifesto. The publication, titled The Next Generation, acknowledges the work the coalition has done to increase community energy in the UK, but says ministers have not gone far enough to break the dominance of the Big Six gas and electricity suppliers, reduce bills for households and slash consumers' carbon footprints.


It envisages thousands of small, community-owned renewable energy firms supplying local homes, renewable heat incentives, and community feed-in tariffs. Community-owned energy groups would be able to supply energy direct to residents for the first time, prohibited under current rules.

Mortal Mindy's picture

Power Plant to close 2016

"Staff at a major power station on the West and North Yorkshire border have been told the plant will stop generating and close in March 2016.

People working at the Ferrybridge C power station were called to a meeting with managers on Tuesday afternoon and told the news.

The BBC has seen a letter given to staff confirming the news.

About 180 people work at the plant, along with an unspecified number of contractors.

The power station's owner SSE is expected to make a formal announcement about the plant's future on Wednesday."

When is a plant not a plant ... when its a station.

back to the dusting...

Just as  Britains first 'Fuel Bank' opens :

Mortal Mindy's picture

Bored ... Drax & CCS

Hey, they have a Visitor Centre yo :

CCS - public consultation ends 12th June 2015 :-)

Hmmm ...   so  the EU is funding a facility for a US Co to capture the carbon that they says 'biomass'  is self absorbed .... Northern Powerhouse or a US wastebin... 

So the Q:  - Is Drax piggybacking on EU renewable energy funding to support erm 'extreme' energy ...

R&D ..... White Rose ... all out of tunes -  borrowed ;-)

Mortal Mindy's picture


yep, tis confusing, just something someone said about the Doggerbank ... wiser heads n all that , just a memo ... map:

Confused? Yep, easily done... Wot wiv all these off shore developments coming into play .. Doggerbank, CCS, Minerals, Third's offshore gas etc etc ... I'd like a collation of wots going on and where, any overlapping, conflicts of interest and put in simple terms what are they doing off our Coastline? (some overlapping map might be useful.... & not forgetting the fish.  Where is the masterplan? Someone somewhere must have it .... in joined up language.




Mortal Mindy's picture

Hi Quix :-)

Current NEDs of Sirius – Steven Pycroft & Keith Clarke. Previous NED David Higgins who is heading up HS2 at Cameron’s request. Pycroft boss of MACE and Clarke former boss of Atkins.

Now bring Lord Deighton into the equation – in charge of the Government’s infrastructure projects as commercial secretary to the Treasury. See the following PDF page 15 …

So in Oct 2013 he met with Fraser and co to discuss the project. Note also his other declarations in the interests of transparency – HS2 meetings, Atkins etc and links back to the current and former NEDs.

Next, read the following article ….

Lord Deighton is not paid for his work as the commercial secretary to the Treasury but is estimated to be worth £95 million after a successful 30-year career with Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

Next we come full circle back to the Northern Powerhouse and Sirius.

“Former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O'Neill is taking charge of the UK's 'Northern Powerhouse'”

Captain Qahn's picture

Empty Vessels

The Investment Case:

"Low cost, high margins..."

"More from less"

Eggs n baskets?

The Basket Case:

Ah yes, the 'next project' ...

Oh, here we go : pay attention to detail :-)

"Benchmark Mineral Intelligence estimates that The Powerwall will require 16kg of synthetic graphite or 16kg of spherical graphite derived from 40kg of flake graphite concentrate. It will also consumed on average 12kg of lithium hydroxide in each unit.

One of the most interesting points that Musk made about The Powerwall was its ease of scalability: it can be interconnected with 8 other packs to give up to 90kWh of capacity for a household.

This principal holds great potential, particularly when considering its commercial line of products, the Powerpack.

“The Powerpack is designed to scale to infinity,” explained Elon Musk at the launch, “You could literally make this into a gigawatt hour solution.”

To infinity and beyond ... nah.   Musk/Telsa its on ere somewhere ... :-)

patent hunting


Mortal Mindy's picture

Top Cat

"Committed to developing a portfolio of projects and continuing to review opportunities around the globe"

didn't Cat develop or patent CCS before the York Potash Project ... ?

Triton? tis exciting stuff, despite the toxins, the anti-frackers, ecologists & environmental lobby are right behind the Musk 'battery' ... (lost the links) (storage!) - the Cat could be onto another feed .... Felix :-)

or otherwise. DYOR.  back to the dusting ...  and the allweather dwarf.


Mortal Mindy's picture

Elon Musk wants tunnel ...

Hyperloop transportation ... to infinity and beyond .... lol - this looks great - hey if Musk needs a tunnel ... $1bil for 8km ... erm yeah but no but yeah !!

...faster than the speed of sound

... have received permission to build an 8km test-track in central California

... pods propelled by magnets

pmsl ;-)

erm OK poetic licence :-/




Mortal Mindy's picture

UK Energy Secretary - Amber Rudd

Clean Energy (LCF) "clean energy subsidies through to 2020/21 - has come under scrutiny ...Levy Control Framework costs have risen from £7.6bn to £9.1bn by 2020/21"

Onshore Wind - "confirmed controversial plans to end on shore wind subsidies, much to the dismay of the industry ... One of the things I have had to do is reduce subsidies. We remain very committed to onshore wind in so far as they are an important part of the mix. It has deployed faster than people expected and is taking more of the subsidy that is available and is supposed to be capped. "

Paris 2015 - 2% challenged "ambition of the EU's proposed 40% carbon reduction target expected to be brought forward to the climate talks"

Energy Efficiency - "a long-term framework for homes and fuel poverty. I'm looking at the various initiatives that have been in place under the last Government to find out which ones are working best and which ones have not worked well"

Energy Storage - 'Tesla, Powervault and Moxia are just three examples of businesses that have made a foray into the UK's emerging energy storage sector this year. A recent report estimates that Britain could cut the cost of decarbonising its electricity supply by more than £3.5bn if it can create a grid-scale electricity storage system to balance the variable output of renewables' ... "storage is a really exciting development - there are fantastic hopes and expectations. It's not an essential part of delivering electricity and we have to make sure that our renewable growth is accompanied by secure baseload so that we can have constant supply of electricity while growing renewables."

Carbon Capture - '£4m investigating the feasibility of building the UK's first CCS plant. But is this the right avenue to go down?' ...  "We remain absolutely committed to the CCS programme," she said. "It would be a fantastic outcome to deliver carbon capture and storage as soon as possible. We have put the funds aside through the Levy Control Framework and we're going to be continuing to work with the two projects that we've got."

Fracking - "Shale gas will be an important part of the energy mix for the UK," said Rudd. "It's an important part of our decarbonisation targets because it is effectively a low-carbon source. 

"Given that gas is going to remain an important part of our security of supply going forward, how much better to have our own gas than to be importing it? 

"I remain committed to making sure that we can explore for shale. I am aware that there are concerns about it, but we have to continue to win the battle by reassuring people that the experts in the field have given their stamp of approval."

Hmmm ... an interesting tone change re fracking .... Dragons Den ...?

Anyhoos cheers -  keeping it up ;-)


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

One Borne Every Minute

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Snow Salt

Mortal Mindy's picture

Little Red Book

Ah, so

"we must not pretend to know what we do not know"

What we do know:

"What the chancellor is doing is selling off at least £5bn worth of our own assets, owned by the British people."

Chukka, for the record ;-)  "I haven't quoted a Communist before and I have no intention of doing so in the future"

Yep, politics is pants.

Work from JKD ;-)

"Today's decision is the final nail in the coffin of the lie that this Tory government have any commitment to tackling climate change or defending UK industry."

"CCS will be a critical component of a low carbon future for Europe. By capturing harmful emissions at the point of production, then transporting and storing them into secure offshore sites, CCS can help tackle climate change and smooth our transition from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy generation. This technology can also provide the only cost effective and sustainable future for many of our beleaguered energy intensive industries, such as steel, cement, fertiliser and chemicals."

"CCS will not only help secure existing jobs, it has the potential to help create thousands more high-quality, secure positions across Europe, particularly in the UK."

A bit light considering the amount of energy, resources, science and technology that has been invested in CCS, Carbon Capture in our region todate .... a COP out with less than a week to go before climate change summit in Paris 2015^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author

A honky tonk parade ...

“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”

Hmmm ... Wtfdik ...  meanwhile Chukka & Trudeau ... progressives -  one day ... in an alternate life. Ifs buts & stolen moments - nicked.  Spose tis still hung



Mortal Mindy's picture

Post - A Blow to Yorkshire & A Good Kicking via Echo

"The region’s history in power generation and the presence of large scale heavy industry meant Yorkshire was considered well-placed to pioneer economically viable carbon capture technology.

A report published three years ago said backing the White Rose Project could lead to the creation of 4,000 jobs.

Leigh Hackett, chief executive of Capture Power, the company behind White Rose, said:“We are surprised and very disappointed by the Government’s decision to cancel the £1bn CCS Commercialisation Programme more than three years into the competition."

"Enemies to the right of us, enemies to the left of it.  Keep out!"

A Good Kicking from the Northern Echo :-0


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

COPs & Roberts

A fine example of how global & national policies hit the ground ;-/

"I would like to inform your readers about the loss of a proposed local community solar energy project due to government cuts to renewable energy.

The Government had funded a feasibility project, run by Moor Sustainable Community Interest Company, for a community energy project in the Mulgrave Ward and this had concluded that a site in Hinderwell next to Oakridge School would be well positioned.

The project would have provided cheap or free electricity to the school as well as providing a community fund to benefit the village of Hinderwell.

This was just ready to start when the Government announced a surprise consultation and subsequently significant cuts to incentives to renewable energy which means that the project is no longer feasible.

The project idea was to site 200 kW of solar panels in a field to the rear of Oakridge Primary School, which would be fed into the school and the remainder exported to generate income to pay for the project.

This small project, taking up about half an acre, with 200 kW of panels would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of about 50 homes and would have a been a small contribution to the low carbon power needed for the future.

There had been community consultation, discussion with various land owners, Northern Powergrid, the National Park and the school.

The project was to have been funded by community shares, a new and popular way to fund local projects, and income from the Government Feed-in-Tariff and selling the electricity into the national grid, would have paid back shareholders over a 10 year period and generated a community fund which could have benefitted local projects.

However. the Government announcement that it is to slash subsidies to green energy by up to 90 per cent and the withdrawal of tax relief meant that the project would not be able to pay for itself.

This was a big shame for the local area and was a waste of the time and government money that had gone into the project development up to that stage.

The most important aspect is that it means that renewable energy generation throughout the country has been dealt a severe blow, with many firms facing disaster, and our commitment to trying to cut CO₂ and prevent climate change undermined.

There are important climate change talks in Paris at the end of November and all the governments in the world are coming together to try to prevent the worst of climate change, which is already affecting many countries. Cutting Government subsidies to renewables will only save 6p a year on everyone’s electricity bills, but severely threatens the UK’s commitments to cut carbon emissions and therefore the health and wellbeing of future generations.

Paris is a chance to commit to a zero carbon economy, creating new jobs and new ways of doing things and I would call on our MP Robert Goodwill to address these issues as a matter of urgency."



Mortal Mindy's picture

Beyond the Pale ...

Pass the bucket?

"Energy created by Grimsby Crematorium could be sold back to the National Grid as part of a money-making scheme, it has been suggested.

Cleethorpes councillor Matthew Brown raised the idea at a meeting of the authority's scrutiny panel.

He linked the idea to the recent deaths of David Bowie and actor Alan Rickman, The Grimsby Telegraph reported.

North East Lincolnshire Council said it had "nothing to add" to Mr Brown's suggestion.

Speaking to BBC Radio Humberside, Mr Brown said the idea had been trialled in Sweden and Durham and could boost the council's funds if successful.

'We could be heroes'

He said: "It's a sensitive subject... but if it turns out to be an effective solution, then it's something I think not only we should be looking at, but other authorities across the country."

Mr Brown told the meeting that - following the deaths of the stars - the council should consider making money from the energy created by the crematorium.

The council's chief executive Rob Walsh said the authority could look into the idea of selling heat energy, but not specifically from the Weelsby Avenue site.

Continuing the reference to Bowie, he added: "If we look into it successfully we could be heroes just for one day."

Sssh.... wps. Beams.

Mortal Mindy's picture

CCS - Carbon Pic A Card

"The future of a £1.5bn bid to establish Europe’s first industrial carbon capture and storage project in the North East hangs in the balance. Peter McCusker reports.

The fallout from George Osborne’s decision to scrap a £1bn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project is now being felt on Teesside.

It was initially though that the announcement to scrap the CCS Commercialisation Programme, made in November’s Autumn Statement, would impact solely on projects in Scotland and Yorkshire.

But there is now growing concern that the Government’s retreat from funding CCS development impacts the Teesside Collective project, too."

"This possibility that no further Government funding will be made available to the Teesside Collective scheme also seems to raise doubts over the commitment of the Government to its Devolution Deal for Tees Valley, which promises £15m a year over 30 years.

The Devolution Deal, signed late last year, says: “The Government is committed to working with Tees Valley to explore how it can continue to develop its industrial carbon capture and storage (CCS) proposals towards deployment of this infrastructure for its industrial sites in the 2020s.”

"One of the countries leading academics in the CCS arena is Durham University’s Jon Gluyas, a Professor in CCS and Geo-Energy.

Prof Gluyas has been working with the White Rose Yorkshire project, which aims to build a 300MW coal-fired power plant and pipe out the captured carbon to be stored in the North Sea.

He said: “While its very expensive to retro-fit old power stations with CCS technology it is much-less expensive to include it in new builds.

“The North Sea oil and gas industry was developed by a nationalised company in the shape of BP and there is a case to be made for the Government to financially support the development of a UK CCS programmes in the same way.

“This is a technology we will need to hit our future emissions targets and the recent decision of the Government is nonsensical.”

Whilst the £1bn is off the table, there has been no formal announcement that the two projects have been scrapped.

Europe has already chosen the White Rose project as its flagship CCS project, and offered €300m to invest in it. The Chinese are also rumoured to be willing to put another £100m in and there is the possibility of qualifying for Government support under the Contract for Difference subsidy regime.

The White Rose project is strategically much more important to the North East economy. As well as demonstrating CCS technology, it will also lead to the installation of over 150 miles of pipeline and a new injection rig in the middle of the North Sea."

"While the £1bn project has been cancelled the Government says it still sees a future for CCS in the UK."