EU carbon capture plan draws criticism

A European Commission decision to fund carbon capture technology at Kingsnorth power station has provoked angry responses from green groups.

The station will receive over £200 million on researching the technology, in a European effort to invest in energy infrastructure as a cure for recession.

But green groups said countries should be moving away from coal altogether.

A Kent Green party spokesman said: "I'm not happy seeing technology go in this direction because we should be moving away from coal-fired power stations altogether.

"In terms of supporting energy projects in a county like Kent, it would be far more valuable for us to receive money for solar panels and better building insulation."

But some industry figures welcomed the move. Jeff Chapman, of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, said: "This is great news, but it isn't enough to fund CCS in one plant."

Kingsnorth is one of four UK power stations earmarked to receive some of the ?1.25 billion, the other being Longannet in Fife, Tilbury in Essex and Hatfield in Yorkshire.

EC president Jose Manuel Barroso said: "We need to learn the lessons of the recent gas crisis and invest heavily in energy.

"The Commission is committed to working together with member states, all of which will benefit from our proposed measures in revitalising the EU economy through investment in these key areas."

The government is currently consulting on the effectiveness of carbon capture technology.

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