Biofuel power station gets go-ahead

A controversial biofuel power station in Bristol has today been given the go-ahead. The Government granted planning permission for W4B’s biofuel power station in Avonmouth overturning a previous decision by […]

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By Sumit Bose

A controversial biofuel power station in Bristol has today been given the go-ahead. The Government granted planning permission for W4B’s biofuel power station in Avonmouth overturning a previous decision by the local council.

In a letter issuing his decision, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said that the sustainability of the plant was required to meet European standards and was confident the fuels used, mainly from palm oil and jatropha would be from sustainable sources.

Friends of the Earth’s biofuels campaigner Kenneth Richter said: “It’s astonishing that the Government has overturned Bristol City Council’s decision and given the green light to this planet-wrecking power plant. We urgently need real solutions to the UK’s energy challenges – but burning palm oil biofuels on this scale will destroy wildlife-rich forests and increase climate-changing emissions.”

Biofuels are under intense scrutiny worldwide because of the impact that growing plants for fuel in tropical areas have on local environments and livelihoods. Studies have concluded that the overall impact of burning liquid biofuels on global climate can be much worse than the fossil fuels they are intended to replace.

The power plant could generate 50MW when operating.