It has been reported that Gordon Brown is to back the construction of a new generation of coal fired power stations. Power companies are now being given permission to construct at least two new coal-fired stations with a view to more being built at later stages.
It's a controversial move that is guaranteed to anger environmental campaigners and climate change scientists as burning coal produces more CO2 for each unit of energy generated than any other type of fuel. The argument is that as old plants are shutting down, Britain needs the new coal power stations to prevent future power shortages. Brown is also insisting that any new plants built will be fitted with a new technology that will capture CO2 and store it underground, however this technology has never been tested on an active power station before, thus can not be proven.
It seems ironic that this long after the closure of Britain's coal-mines we are now taking a U-turn. Coal-fired Power Station with Solar are not the only way of generating energy but are the most attractive option when it comes to price and availability. Britain has enough coal resources to provide us with energy for hundreds of years to come, however climate scientists may argue that the human race won't be around for that long if countries continue to pump an increased amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. It will be interesting to see how the government tackle the delicate balancing of a need for affordable energy and a need to protect the environment by reducing carbon emissions.