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Mitsui Babcock, a UK-based world leader in clean coal technologies has set out a ...

Mitsui Babcock, a UK-based world leader in clean coal technologies has set out an agenda for UK government, publishing a report on the benefits of clean coal alongside other energy sources, and called on government to answer industry demands for swift action and commitment to a diverse energy portfolio. In the report, Mitsui Babcock predicts the energy gap could be between 18-29 gigawatts (GW) by 2015 because of coal and nuclear plant closures, European legislation in the form of the Large Combustion Plant Directive and the predicted growth in demand for energy. This shortfall represents up to a half of the December 2005 peak demand for energy. Mitsui Babcock is calling for the UK government to: *Invest in clean coal to stabilise energy prices, stating that clean coal solves the short-term environmental and supply challenges while delivering cheaper electricity than gas or renewables. *Create a framework for security of supply through a diverse energy portfolio. It claims that the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has failed to incentivise investment to reduce carbon emissions. *Invest in clean coal if the UK is to close the UK's energy gap. The company notes that gas prices are rising, nuclear is for the long term and renewables are clean but only supply energy intermittently. *Create incentives so that generators invest in clean coal technology. Industry must be guaranteed a return on investment through a mechanism similar to - though less expensive than - the renewables obligation. *Invest in nuclear power to replace existing plants. Nuclear energy is climate friendly, complements clean coal and essential to securing a diverse energy portfolio, states Mitsui Babcock. Iain Miller, Chief Operating Officer of Mitsui Babcock, commented: ‘Coal has a crucial role to play alongside nuclear, renewables and gas if the UK is to rein in its emissions while also ensuring security of supply. It answers our short-term problems because it can be implemented quickly, but also has a part to play in the long term because we have 200 years supply of it. Government is committed to addressing the energy issue, but needs to take steps which will quickly deliver the investment needed to fill the energy generation gap.’ Mitsui Babcock presented its agenda for government in a report into the global energy challenges, the UK’s record on carbon emissions, recent prices, and the potential for solutions in the short and long term. The report is available in a downloadable format from The UK will need to replace at least 18 GW of energy by 2015 just to meet existing demand, starting to retrofit 10 GW of clean coal technology to existing plants from 2006 onwards and starting to build 8 GW of new clean coal powered plants from 2007 onwards, states Mitsui Babcock. These new clean coal plants could each be emitting up to 40% less carbon emissions compared with today’s coal plants.

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