Local Conservative MEP, Vicky Ford, has called for the EU to abolish its renewable energy targets.
Mrs Ford has led a review into Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) for the parliament’s energy committee. She argues that the EU renewables targets unfairly discriminate against alternative energy solutions like nuclear power and CCS. As a result these other methods of reducing emissions are being neglected and energy prices risk being pushed even higher.
Mrs Ford has learnt that CCS projects have been running successfully in Norway for over 15 years and are now being developed in Canada, the USA and even China. European countries risk being left behind even though they used to be considered the global leaders in CCS research.
Mrs Ford said that the UK is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this technology as the North Sea could provide excellent storage sites, with the potential to pump CO2 gas back into disused oil and gas reservoirs. Furthermore CCS could help mitigate emissions related to new fossil fuels such as shale gas.
Speaking in a debate in the Parliament chamber Mrs Ford explained: “At the moment the energy debate in Europe focuses largely on renewables. It’s time Brussels sat up and took note of the real problems households and businesses have paying their energy bills.
“New Nuclear power stations, like the one being planned at Sizewell in Suffolk, and CCS both provide low carbon alternatives. It is deeply ironic that they are being hindered by the very targets that are meant to reduce emissions. Renewables, Nuclear and CCS should all be treated equally.”