Anti-biomass and coal Campaigners disrupt Drax AGM and call for UK’s most polluting power station to close

For immediate use Wednesday 23rd April 2014

Photographs available here: http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2014/drax-protest-photos/

Media Contacts:

Oliver Munnion on 07917693337 or oli.munnion@biofuelwatch.org.uk
Duncan Law 07958635181 or dl@duncanlaw.co.uk
Almuth Ernsting 01316232600 or biofuelwatch@ymail.com

Anti-biomass and coal Campaigners disrupt Drax AGM and call for UK’s most polluting power station to close

Campaigners have disrupted Drax Plc’s AGM in London today, calling for the power station to be closed down because of the environmental and social impacts of the biomass and coal that it is burning. Three campaigners were removed from the meeting after unfurling a banner reading “No to biomass and coal – shut down Drax” and accusing company directors of misleading the public over claims that their biomass conversion is low-carbon, renewable energy. The protest happened against a backdrop of falling company share prices as the UK Government announced that it would not be awarding a lucrative new subsidy scheme, a Contract for Difference, to Drax’s second converted unit, sparking investment uncertainty. [1]

Continue reading Anti-biomass and coal Campaigners disrupt Drax AGM and call for UK’s most polluting power station to close

April Protests Against Big Biomass in the UK

Note: Our protest outside the Drax AGM is still to come on Wednesday, 23rd April, 12 noon in London – for details please click here

Big Bike Bash Against Industrial Biomass in Bristol, 12th April 

ThBristol Bike Bash Agaist Big Biomass - photo: Michael Lloydis Bike Ride protest was organised by Avon Coalition Against Big Biofuels.

Bristol Bike Bash Agaist Big Biomass – photo: Michael Lloyd

 

 

For more photos see : https://www.flickr.com/photos/123175252@N04/with/13833560823/

Biomess Awards, 9th April 2014

Awards2DECC are awarded the Biomess Award

Awards3

DECC are announced winner of the Biomess Award as major biomass industry conference is targeted by protest -

Read Press Release here 

Watch short videos of the protest here, here, here and here

Drax AGM 2014 – No to coal and biomass!

23rd April // 12:00 // The Grocers’ Hall, Princes Street, London EC2R 8AD

Drax power station in Yorkshire is converting 3 of its 6 units to run on biomass. Since its last AGM it has converted and opened one unit and burned up to 5.5 million tonnes of green wood (mostly imported) – that’s equivalent to more than half of the UK’s annual wood production. At full capacity this unit alone will have netted them £190 million in subsidies. When all 3 units are converted they’ll be looking at almost £700 million a year – paid for through our increased fuel bills. What’s more, Drax’s conversion actually allows it to burn more coal long into the future. Even after the conversion they’ll be burning some 3.7 million tonnes of coal every year from opencast mines in the UK and imported from places like Colombia, where communities have been forced off their land for expanding mines.

Come along to our Drax AGM protest at 12 noon to call for an end to big biomass and coal, an end to subsidies that allow operators like Drax to keep profiting from destruction, and for genuinely climate and people-friendly alternatives. The protest will be outside the Grocers’ Hall, Princes Street, London EC2R 8AD where Drax’s AGM will be held.

Please help to invite others, including by inviting them to join via www.facebook.com/events/640772895978516/ and by tweeting with #draxprotest .

drax flyer front 2014

To find out more about our other campaigns such as our efforts to stop more Green Bank funding for biomass see Banking on Big Biomass and for more information on coal-biomass conversions see our campaign page Coal-Biomass Conversions.

Please help us spread the word through our Facebook events page.

The following groups are supporting our Drax AGM protest:

Will your group lend its support too? If so please email us on biofuelwatch@ymail.org.uk.

 

DECC announced as winner of Biomess Award as major biomass industry conference is targeted by environmentalists

For immediate use Thursday 10th April 2014

Media Contacts: Oliver Munnion on 07917693337 or oli.munnion@biofuelwatch.org.uk

Photographs available here: http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/biomess-awards/biomess-awardsphotos/

DECC announced as winner of Biomess Award as major biomass industry conference is targeted by environmentalists

Campaigners have awarded the Department for Energy and Climate Change the “Biomess Award” after coming out on top of an online poll coinciding with a major biomass industry conference in London [1], with Drax Plc and the Green Investment Bank coming a close second and third place. The award for forest destruction was made at an alternative awards ceremony held last night outside a gala dinner for delegates. After a last-minute change of venue the dinner took place at the conference venue, Grange St Paul’s Hotel. 40 people held banners reading “Big Biomass fuels: Deforestation, Landgrabbing & Climate Change” and “Big Biomass is greenwash not renewable energy”.

Continue reading DECC announced as winner of Biomess Award as major biomass industry conference is targeted by environmentalists

Green Investment Bank: Don’t fund forest-destroying and polluting biomass in Avonmouth!

GIBavonmouth

Over 1,100 people previously called on the Green Investment Bank (GIB) not to finance large forest-destroying and polluting biomass power stations by Forth Energy in Scotland.  On 27th March, Forth Energy announced that they are no longer proceeding with their biomass plans.  They are trying to find another company that might want to develop two of their proposed power stations instead, but so far none have come forward.

However Helius Energy, another biomass company, has now announced that they are in disucssion with the Green Investment Bank. Helius Energy want to build a large biomass power station in Avonmouth, near Bristol, which would burn around 1 million tonnes of imported wood every year.  There is an active local campaign against Helius’ plans in Avonmouth and local people are deeply concerned about the effects such a power station would have on their health, as well as about the destruction it would cause to forests abroad.  Avonmouth already suffers from high levels of air pollution as well as wood dust exposure, which is linked to cancer. Continue reading Green Investment Bank: Don’t fund forest-destroying and polluting biomass in Avonmouth!

Forth Energy drops all biomass plans in Scotland – campaigners welcome news but issue warning to new developers

Biofuelwatch media release – for immediate use 27th March 2014

Media contact: Oliver Munnion 07917693337

Forth Energy drops all biomass plans in Scotland – campaigners welcome news but issue warning to new developers

Forth Energy, formerly a joint venture between Forth Ports and SSE, have confirmed that they are dropping plans to build their consented 100MWe biomass power stations in Grangemouth and Rosyth, as well as withdrawing plans for a similar plant in Dundee. [1] Campaigners and community members have expressed their joy at hearing the announcement. Whilst Forth Energy will now be looking to sell their consents at Grangemouth and Rosyth on to other developers, campaigners are warning that any new attempts to revive the plans will be fiercely opposed.

Continue reading Forth Energy drops all biomass plans in Scotland – campaigners welcome news but issue warning to new developers

Biofuelwatch briefing about Contracts for Difference and bioenergy

Subsidising Biomass Electricity – Contracts for Difference and what they mean for dedicated and converted biomass power stations

See here for an email alert on this issue.

Avonmouth Biomass Power Station campaign

Biofuelwatch has prepared a short briefing here

Campaigners convened a second South West Extreme Energy Gathering on Saturday 1 February in Bristol to share resources, ideas and energy to oppose Biomass, Nuclear and Fracking in the South West. Biofuelwatch Media Release here. Bristol Post coverage here. Local radio interview with Duncan Law about gathering and Avonmouth Biomass here.

The Avon Coalition Against Big Biofuels has formed to campaign to prevent this and the W4B palm oil power station from being built. It has met twice. Next planning meeting Sunday 2 March, 7pm, at Kebele, 14 Robertson Rd, Easton (eat dinner together). To make contact email info@avoncoalitionagainstbigbiofuels.org.uk

Bristol Public meeting: Monday 10th March, 7.00 – 8.30pm at Hamilton House, Stokes Croft

Avonmouth Public meeting: Tuesday 11 March, 7.30-9pm, Avonmouth Community Centre

ACABB is meeting councillors and council officers at the Lord Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall, Bristol, 14.00-15.00 and 16.30-17.30 on Monday 10 March. Please request your councillors to attend.

Helius Energy got planning permission from DECC, bypassing the normal local planning process, in March 2010 for a 100MW dedicated power station which will burn around 850,000 green tonnes of imported wood a year, driving deforestation, biodiversity loss, and emitting more CO2 per unit of electricity than the fossil fuels it replaces. It will produce significant local particulate pollution which has severe public health impacts.

It has failed to secure finance since 2010 but in October 2013 was given a significant kick-start by being included on HM Treasury’s UK Guarantee Scheme shortlist of ‘pre-qualified’ projects for public money to guarantee private loans to private developers of ‘key’ infrastructure projects.

Biofuelwatch spoke at the December meeting of Bristol FOE attended by Bristol Rising Tide, Frack Free Bristol, Bristol Greenpeace. A local campaign to oppose this Biomass power station is building momentum.

IMG_3140

Biofuelwatch has also been campaigning to get Biomass projects dropped from the UK Guarantee Scheme. See joint letter with FOE and others to HM Treasury and short film here

The Financial Times wrote a leader entitled: Europe’s Biomorass. Burning wood to generate power is a costly blind alley. See here if you have a subscription (you can subscribe for free)

 

 

 

 

 

FOE has produced an alert asking the 6 Bristol MPs to ask the government ‘not to back Helius and other biomass power stations.’ If you live in Bristol please visit http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/biodiversity/press_for_change/stop_public_money_burn_forests_41618.html and sign and tell your friends.

Molly Scott Cato, Green candidate for MEP for the South West has said: “Helius Energy’s plans for a 100MW biomass power station at Avonmouth, burning up to 850,000 tonnes of imported wood a year, are not green, nor compatible with Bristol being European Green Capital 2015. They will destroy forests biodiversity and make climate change worse. The government has offered public money to guarantee private loans to this scheme and will even invest. This is a misuse of public money to burn foreign forests which would be much better spent on demand reduction and on helping communities set up their own real renewable energy infrastructure for which the West Country is so well suited.”

To see the sort of destruction wrought by the exponentially increasing demand in the UK for Biomass Electricity to meet our so called ‘renewable’ and carbon-reduction targets see

  • this short film by the Dogwood Alliance
  • article about deforestation in Louisiana
  • article from the Wall St Journal explaining how UK demand is driving clear-cutting of biodiverse wetland forest

Grangemouth residents and campaign groups outraged by decision to approve Forth Energy biomass Plant

Continue reading Grangemouth residents and campaign groups outraged by decision to approve Forth Energy biomass Plant

Biofuelwatch UK Newsletters

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