Drax Re-power

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Drax Re-power

Received 28 July 2018
From Michael Mitchell

Representation

Dear Sir / Madam,

I wish to object to the Drax Repower proposal to replace the final two coal-burning units at Drax with much larger ones to burn natural gas. I am objecting because I believe the proposal is not a sustainable development as defined in the National Planning Policy Framework, since it is not compatible with a transition to a low-carbon future.

I refer to the recent decision by the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to reject planning permission for an open-cast coal mine at Druridge Bay in Northumberland in March this year. The incompatibility of the proposed coal mine with climate goals was cited as one of the grounds of the decision by the Secretary of State: “The negative impact on greenhouse gases and climate change receives very considerable adverse weight in the planning balance.” [redacted]

Reasons why the proposal is incompatible with a transition to a low carbon economy and thus not a sustainable development:

Drax is already the U.K.’s single largest emitter of carbon dioxide and admits in its Preliminary Environmental Information Report that the burning of fossil (natural) gas at the power station will: “represent a significant net increase in greenhouse gas emissions and have therefore negative climate impacts.”

In order to meet the Paris Climate Agreement to keep global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees, it is vital for the UK to phase out our fossil fuel emissions, not increase them. According to a recent Oil Change International report: “the coal, oil, and fossil gas in the world’s currently producing and under-construction projects, if fully extracted and burned, would take the world far beyond safe climate limits. Opening new fossil gas fields is inconsistent with the Paris climate goals.” [redacted]