EU concerns about £1billion Pembroke Power Station
1:34pm Friday 26th October 2012 in News
The European Commission has launched formal infringement proceedings against the UK Government’s approval of the £1billion Pembroke Power Station.
The RWE npower combined cycle gas turbine station opened last month. It will generate enough power for around three and a half million homes.
In June 2010 Friends of the Earth (FoE) Cymru submitted a complaint to the European Commission detailing the ‘failure of the UK to comply with EU law’ regarding its approvals for the gas fired power station.
The group says the power station’s cooling system will waste energy by dumping heat into the highly protected Milford Haven waterway, killing millions of fish and other marine species every year and that the energy wasted is equivalent to 40 per cent of Wales' electricity demand.
A letter from European Commission, dated October 25th, to FoE says that the commission shares these concerns, particularly with regard to the process applied to the choice of cooling system; increased temperatures of water discharges and the addition of large quantities of biocides to these waters.
FoE Cymru has welcomed the start of legal action: “Pembrokeshire Friends of the Earth warned from the outset that the new power station at Pembroke would cause unacceptable harm to this important marine environment at the same time as wasting colossal amounts of energy,” said its director Gareth Clubb.
“Time and time again we have pointed out that the UK Government acted unlawfully in allowing this technology to be used in Wales, which isn't considered good enough in the USA or in England.
Environmental lawyer Peter Roderick added: “The UK Government must abide by the same rule of law that applies to all of us. And companies should not be allowed to push ahead damaging projects and expect to get permission once it's too late to stop.”
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said that the UK Government has two months to respond to the notice of infringement and is currently considering its response.
The spokesman pointed out that the commission's action is a notice of infringement rather than full-blown infraction proceedings.