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Bloomberg News: U.K. Lawmakers Urge Government to Back Eggborough Biomass Plans

16/12/2013
December 16, 2013

A group of U.K. lawmakers today urged the government not to threaten plans by Eggborough Power Ltd. to convert its coal-fired power station to burn biomass, saying the move could risk blackouts and increase bills.

If the conversion doesn’t go ahead due to a lack of government subsidies, 800 jobs may be put at risk and electricity bills may rise by about 38 pounds ($62), a group of 11 Conservative Party lawmakers said today in a letter to Energy Secretary Ed Davey.

As part of its reform of the electricity market the government is awarding early subsidies to some projects before a new support system comes into place at the end of next year. This means Drax Group Plc may receive early payments over Eggborough as its coal-to-biomass conversion is more advanced.

Delays to the conversion risk shutting Eggborough down altogether as it struggles to cope with increasing emissions costs and carbon taxes. If that happens the U.K. will lose 4 percent of its electricity generating capacity in “one stroke,” said the lawmakers, who include Members of Parliament Neil Parish and Andrew Percy.

Applicants are expected to hear whether or not they have met the criteria for funding on Dec. 19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Louise Downing in London at ldowning4@bloomberg.net