Falkirk East MSP Calls on Forth Energy to Abandon Plans for Massive Grangemouth Biomass Plant

Artist's impresssion of Forth Energy's biomass plant

MACDONALD QUIZZES UK ENERGY MINISTER OVER UK GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR LARGE SCALE BIOMASS

SNP MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed the news that Forth Energy has abandoned its plans to build a large scale biomass plant at the Port of Leith, and called on the firm to reconsider its intention to continue with plans for a massive 100MW biomass plant for Grangemouth.

On the week that the Scottish Government reporter holds his procedural meeting in Grangemouth (this Wednesday in the Grange Manor Hotel)) to arrange the public enquiry, which is likely to be held in April or May, Angus MacDonald has called on Forth Energy to ditch it’s plans which are in conflict with current Scottish Government policy, which favours small to medium sized biomass plants.

Over 1,000 objections have been lodged by residents from Grangemouth and neighbouring towns on grounds including noise, visual impact, emissions, road traffic and air quality.

SNP MSP for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald, who has backed the campaign against the proposed plant from the outset, and successfully moved at Falkirk Council’s Planning Committee that Falkirk Council inform Scottish Ministers that it opposed the biomass plant said:

“I am pleased that the Leith campaigners have forced Forth Energy to ditch their plans for a massive biomass plant there – now Forth Energy need to ditch their plans for Grangemouth!

“The abandonment of the Leith plant shows that Forth Energy has had no choice but to listen to the evidence that large scale biomass, particularly without the recovery of 'waste' heat, is not a sustainable energy solution for Scotland.

“Scottish government policy on biomass is clear: it does have a role to play in generating heat, but it should only be deployed in heat-only or combined heat and power schemes, off gas-grid and at a scale appropriate to make best use of the available heat”.

UK ENERGY MINISTER GRILLED

In another development, Angus MacDonald quizzed UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry when he appeared before the Scottish Parliament’s Energy Committee last week. A transcript of the exchange can be found here (pages 5 & 6):

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=6821&mode=pdf

At the committee meeting, during which Angus MacDonald highlighted the many disadvantages of large-scale biomass, the UK Energy Minister appeared to indicate that the UK Government has no intention of changing its policy of support for large scale biomass.

Angus MacDonald commented:

“I was disappointed with the response from Charles Hendry. He failed to recognise the many reasons large scale biomass plants should not be supported, and indicated that the UK Government will plough on regardless. This is in stark contrast to the Scottish Government’s position, which is opposed to massive biomass plants in Scotland, and would much prefer to see subsidies used to support tidal energy, which is much more environmentally friendly.”

Angus continued:

“We now must continue the fight against the Grangemouth plant while we await the public enquiry and the subsequent decision by Scottish Government Ministers later in the year.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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