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Energy prices ‘up 10%’ if Eggborough power station shuts
10:12am Tuesday 17th December 2013 in News
THE closure of a North Yorkshire power plant could see energy prices rise by more than ten per cent, operators have claimed.
Eggborough power station currently produces about four per cent of the country’s power, and had hoped to move into biomass production – burning wood pellets instead of coal - which would produce much greener energy.
However, as The Press reported yesterday, Government subsidies which would allow the power station to make the necessary changes may now be given to wind-power facilities instead. A final decision is expected later this week.
A document shown to The Press includes the other projects which are competing for the subsidies, and shows that several of the projects do not yet have planning permission in place, unlike the North Yorkshire plant.
An Eggborough spokeswoman said this could push up wholesale prices by up to ten per cent. Should the station close, filling the gap Eggborough would leave with renewable technologies could mean the average energy price for consumers would increase by up to £38.
She said: “Many of the other projects on the list do not appear to be in a similar state of readiness.
“Falling capacity gap and meeting renewables targets with more costly technologies will result in a spike in consumer bills which is entirely avoidable.”
Mark Crane, leader of Selby District Council, said the announcement was not good news for the region, and he hoped the subsidies would still go to the biomass project.
He said: “On the back of last week’s very good news with the investment at Drax, the news coming out of Eggborough and the Government is worrying to say the least.
“I would add my support to Nigel Adams’s campaign to ensure the Government continues to invest in biomass and other renewables, rather than continually looking at wind.”
Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central, said he had not been asked to sign Mr Adams’ letter, but supported it wholly.
He said: “The Eggborough conversion seems a cost-effective way of generating power renewably so I hope the Government will reinstate this project.
“Nigel Adams is right to call on the Government to think again. We need to generate more electricity renewably and the Government should be converting coal-fired power stations to biomass as well as generating more power from offshore wind farms.”
Earlier this year it was rumoured that an energy firm based in Asia was interested in investing in the Eggborough plant, in a move that would help fund the £500 million biomass conversion. The spokeswoman said she was unable to comment on the potential investment.
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