Thursday, 28 June 2012

Energy and Jobs in Yorkshire

Last week, a public consultation began on a proposed project to build the UK's first power station using carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Yorkshire. Local residents and other interested parties are invited to give their views on the building of the new £3 billion Don Valley Power Project in Hatfield.

The week before, I met with a representative of the project who explained that while the project is still in development, it looks to be on its way to receiving sufficient investment for 2013/14. This investment includes funding from the EU research programme 'The European Energy Programme for Recovery'.

The power station in Hatfield will capture millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide which would then be stored on North Sea oil fields. In a recently published report by the National Grid, it was predicted that at least 90% of the carbon dioxide emitted by the coal-fired plant will be captured. 

Following recent innovations in the US, the project also involves plans to extract the remaining oil from the North Sea using carbon dioxide which will be stored in those fields. Traditionally large oil firms have abandoned fields shortly after they have reached peak production levels. This new technology will enable extraction of any remaining reserves.

The development is also aimed at becoming the ‘hub’ of a cluster of other CCS projects in the region.  The Yorkshire and Humber region is an ideal location for kick-starting a global CCS industry, due to its high concentration of power stations and large industrial plants that release a large amount of carbon dioxide.


The building of the Don Valley Power Project is potentially good news for our region, as not only will to decrease the region's carbon footprint, it will also create employment. It is estimated that around 2800 temporary jobs will be created to build the infrastructure needed and another 500 permanent roles to run the operations. 

A pipeline will have to be constructed to carry carbon dioxide from Hatfield, across the River Humber and over Hull through the Holderness Coast. Local residents can put their views across during the consultation, and it goes without saying that all environmental factors must be considered.

Yorkshire is at the forefront of a renewable energy revolution.  Our region has topped the UK renewable investment league for the last year. I am proud that our region has invested almost two billion pounds in renewable energy projects, creating over 5,400 jobs in the process.  

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