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 This interactive map, though a bit out of date, shows the location of UK electricity power stations.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!