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Reclaim the Power – fossil fuel electricity generation in the UK

The 2015 Reclaim the Power camp will be from 29 May – 2nd June near Didcot powerstation in Oxfordshire. Didcot Power Station comprises Didcot A Power Station, powered by oil and coal until its closure in 2013, and Didcot B Power Station, a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT).

Didcot power station stands as a half-demolished monument to the unfinished job of kicking out dirty fossil fuels from the UK’s energy mix. Although the coal-fired section (Didcot A) was shut down and part-demolished last year because of EU laws limiting emissions, the gas-fired section (Didcot B) is still running today. What sustainable alternatives exist for local communities living at Didcot – and how can we create a just transition away from fossil fuels?

While communities around the country have stood together against fracking, our government has been making plans to build a new round of gas-fired power stations, and wants to partly supply them with fracked shale gas. Despite the fact that we need to keep global gas reserves in the ground if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change, corporate lobbyists are now pushing hard to scrap the EU legislation designed to reduce emissions across Europe. More fossil fuels will enrich the Big Six energy companies whilst bringing more fuel poverty and climate chaos.

In 2014 about 29% of UK electricity demands were met by coal, 19% by nuclear, 30% by CCGT, and 19% by renewables. The rest came from oil, pumped storage and from other European countries via their interconnectors. Of course included in ‘renewables’ are highly unsustainable practices such as burning biomass and mixed waste. (See the DGR ‘green’ technology and renewable energy FAQs for problems with these methods.)

One third of the UK’s coal power stations will close by the end of 2015, leaving ten still in operation. There are thirty three CCGT power stations in the UK with many more on the way, which will create a demand for fracked gas. This interactive map, though a bit out of date, shows the location of UK electricity power stations.

All of the UK’s coal power stations are due to close by the early 2020’s to comply with air pollution regulations (the Large Combustion Plants Directive (LCPD) and Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)). But based on a report from Imperial College London, many of these coal power stations will still be operational in 2030. What a surprise. It doesn’t look like Europe is doing much better, although of course, the UK is contributing to this predicted failure.

At last year’s Reclaim the Power camp thirteen decentralised groups carried out actions around the country. Deep Green Resistance UK members will be at the camp this year, to support it and take part in a non-violent direct action. Visit the Reclaim the Power Facebook event page for more details. We hope to see you there!

Deep Green Resistance UK Autumn 2014 Newsletter

Dear friends,

Deep Green Resistance UK would like to invite you to a free day of talks and workshops on Sat 22 November in Willesden, NW London. This will give people the chance to hear more about and discuss our radical analysis, to learn about our strategy and to talk about the kind of tactics we think are necessary to save life on earth. For more information see the event flyer or the facebook event page. Please share with your networks.

DGR is requesting support for a documentary promoting strategic, effective resistance. Please visit the fundraiser page for ‘On the Side of the Living’ to learn more and help fund or promote the project.

DGR UK members have had a busy summer.

Adam and Dee ran a stall and a workshop at the Green Gathering at the end July. Read Dee’s report-back. The Artist Taxi Driver interviewed Adam at the stall. Watch the video and visit the Deep Green Resistance youtube channel for many more videos.

In August, DGR members helped with organising the Reclaim the Power gathering that resulted in thirteen actions against the fracking industry. Adam was part of the Earth First Summer Gathering collective and, with DGR supporter Helen Moore, ran a workshop on building a culture of resistance. We will be running this workshop again at the DGR London event on November 22nd.

Adam presented on the DGR analysis/strategy at the Green Party Conference at the start of September as part of a Resisting Together event. Ben and Adam ran a DGR UK stall at the London Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday 18th October.

A number of us will be meeting for a Resisting Together camping gathering near Frome on October 31st to November 2nd.

Love and rage,
DGR UK team

In Solidarity with the Balcombe Community Protection Camp

DGR UK members have just come back from a weekend at the Balcombe Community Protection Camp. The camp has been there since July 25th. We have massive respect for all those there now or who have been there at any time. It is a front line camp on both sides of the verge of a busy B road, with a train line close by and the noisy fracking rig 50 metres from the camp. People at the camp are attempting to blockade each truck that comes in with a police line in between them and the trucks, moving them along.

Cuadrilla’s exploratary drilling licence expires at the end of the Saturday 28th September. Cuadrilla have stated that they will apply for planning permission to measure flow rates so clearly plan to continue at the site.

There is huge local support for the camp. A survey done before the drilling started interviewed about 600 of the approximate 770 households and found that 85% did not want shale gas exploration in the village. Balcombe residents regularly visit the camp and donate supplies to support it.

There is a heavy police presence by the entrance to the fracking rig site. Police patrol along the whole stretch of the B road where the camp is located. The large numbers of police and their vehicles give the camp a militarised feel. The kitchen tent is one side of the entrance to the fracking site, with the camps outside communal seating area on the other side. People at the camp are noting all the vehicles that enter and leave the site. Being sat next to between eight and ten police officers at any time is not a relaxing experience.

For more info see the Frack Free Balcombe website or the Great Gas Gala website for daily updates from the camp. If you want to see how the police are behaving see the truthferretfilms youtube page.

A DGR UK member was part of the group that set up Reclaim the Power camp on farmland near the Balcombe Community Protection Camp that ran from August 16th-21st. From Sunday 18th August there was 48 hours of direct action against the energy firm Cuadrilla, targeting its exploratory drill site in the village of Balcombe, West Sussex, its headquarters in Lichfield, and the offices of its PR company Bell Pottinger in London. The same DGR UK member also took part in the action at Cuadrilla’s headquarters in Liltchfield, north of Birmingham.

For more information about Fracking techniques see the DGR UK post on it.

The next UK fracking site will Barton Moss near Salford by IGas Energy Plc from mid October. For more information see the local campaign facebook group, article in the local paper and information about the site on the IGas website.

How to occupy a power station (respect to No Dash For Gas)

Courtesy of the Guardian newspaper website today, a rough guide for direct action against industrial infrastructure, in the shape of a ten-minute film of the preparations for the week-long occupation of West Burton:

How to occupy a power station

Massive respect to No Dash For Gas and solidarity in their current court struggles against EDF. Here’s some ways you can help support them in those struggles.