£1.5bn ‘fake net zero’ power station will emit 20m tonnes of carbon

A proposed £1.5bn net zero UK power station, which critics have dubbed a “fake net zero project”, will emit more than 20m tonnes of carbon pollution over its lifetime, according to research submitted to the UK government.

In February this year, the secretary of state for energy security and net zero Claire Coutinho granted a development consent order (DCO) for the Net Zero Teesside (NZT) Power scheme.

This marks a “major milestone” in plans for a carbon capture energy facility at the Teesworks site, near Redcar, the Tees Valley Combined Authority said.

The facility, backed by energy firms BP and Equinor, says it will use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to capture up to 95% of its emissions and bury them beneath the North Sea.

But according to a report in the Guardian, research submitted to the government shows the facility will be responsible for more than 20m tonnes of carbon pollution over its lifetime.


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Energy analyst Andrew Boswell, who undertook the research based on the facility’s own figures, said: “When a project produces over 20m tonnes of carbon pollution, it is simply wrong, and misleading, to call it ‘net zero’.”

By his calculation, once the upstream emissions linked with the project – such as extraction and methane emissions from the gas – were factored in, the power station would emit more than 20.3m tonnes of carbon pollution.

Boswell has applied for a judicial review to challenge the decision to grant consent for the facility.

Boswell is backed by the green industrialist Dale Vince who dubbed the scheme as “a fake net zero project from two of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies”.

A spokesperson for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said: “Power stations with these facilities will provide a stable energy supply, not dependent on the weather, with low emissions. This will be vital to support a secure, largely renewables-based energy system in 2050.”

Last year, Ecotricity founder Vince joined over 900 academics and campaigners calling for universities to transition to 100% plant-based catering to tackle climate change.

Circular economyClimate crisisEnergyNature and the environmentNet zeroSocial sustainability

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