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23 Dec 2008 05:12:09

Government 'won't rule out' new coal plants

Government 'won't rule out' new coal plants
Government minister Ed Miliband has said that he will not rule out the construction of new coal power stations in the immediate future.

Speaking to the Financial Times, the energy secretary confirmed that he will be making a decision on an application for a new plant from power giant E.ON next year.

"I will not take a position which ignores our security of supply needs," he told the newspaper.

The plant, which the company proposes to build at Kingsnorth in Kent, is among a number of new coal-fired power stations awaiting government approval.

Greenpeace opposes the construction of a new generation of coal-powered plants and claims such a move goes against wider environmental goals. The group called upon Mr Miliband to clarify the government's priorities with regard to energy supply and meeting carbon emission reduction targets.

"At the moment it looks he's chosen the week just before Christmas to slip out a deeply concerning new position on the totemic climate change issue of this decade," said Greenpeace chief executive John Sauven.

National Grid's chief executive Steve Holliday has warned that without new power stations, Britain could face power shortages by 2015.



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