If the power station was built it would
- Cause more air pollution in an already heavily polluted area, part of which has been declared an Air Quality Management Area by the local authority because legal nitrogen dioxide limits are not expected to be met. The main air pollutants emitted by biomass power stations are linked to respiratory and cardiac disease and to strokes;
- Contribute to climate change: According to the UK Bioenergy Strategy, carbon emissions from straw power stations are even higher than those from natural gas power plant. Straw is very bulky, leading to high emissions from transporting it – and if too much straw is removed from fields, carbon will be lost from soils;
- Threaten the future of pig farmers: Pig farmers rely on straw for animal bedding and as a food supplement. If straw prices go up because too much straw gets burned in power stations, small-scale farmers are the first to face ruin. Generation Park Norwich claim that there’s enough straw available because cereal farmers could sell more and use less on their soils – but if cereal farmers decide otherwise (because they don’t want to risk depleting their soils), pig farmers will lose out. This is bad news for rural jobs. And if small farmers are forced out of business, big factory farms will be the winners – at the expense of animal welfare and the environment.
Norwich residents’ group Say NO2 Norwich Biomass is calling on people living in and near the city to object to the proposed “Generation Park Norwich” biomass power station. For more information, please see their briefing ‘Ten myths about Generation Park‘. The planning application can be found here.
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