In September this year, Weymouth & Portland Council’s planning committee voted to reject a planning application by biofuel company W4B Renewable Energy to build a power station which, according to planning documents would use palm oil from South-east Asia, amidst concerns over the serious impacts on forests, peatlands and the climate and on communities in South-east Asia, as well as over local air pollution. Now, the company has re-submitted their application with only minor changes. They still want to burn palm oil from Indonesia and 10,000 hectares of oil palm plantations would be required to supply the power station. This is the same company whose application for an even larger such power station in Bristol is pending - thanks to everyone who has objected to that one.
Another company, Hargreaves subsidiary Rocpower, is planning six vegetable oil power stations in Yorkshire with a total capacity of 60 MW and one of them, for an 11 MW power station in Wakefield, has been approved. Thanks to everybody who previously objected to their application in Sheffield, which is due to be decided in December. Another Rocpower application is in Barnsley, for a 7 MW power station which, if it was run on palm oil, would require palm oil from 4,000 hectares of plantations. Rocpower has referred to a variety of possible feedstocks, however the application is worded in such a way that the power station, if approved, could be run on virgin vegetable oil including palm oil.
Please go to www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/w4bnov2009.php and also http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/barnsleynov2009.php to object to the two companies’ plans in Portland and Barnsley. This alert is for UK residents only.