EXPERTS gathered to discuss how to secure Yorkshire’s energy future.
The lively public debate at Huddersfield University saw some of the most knowledgeable minds in the field answering questions on how the region can reduce its C02 emissions.
Guest speakers included mining entrepreneur Richard Budge, who talked about how the coal industry was driving the way forward in making the planet greener.
Mr Budge’s company Powerfuel is behind a radical plan to build the world’s largest “clean coal” power plant in Yorkshire.
Having recently secured funding, the low-emission power station fed by Hatfield Colliery, near Doncaster, is to be the first and largest plant equipped with carbon capture and storage technology which strips CO2 from power-plant exhausts and buries it deep underground.
Global warming is becoming an increasingly serious issue, aggravated by mankind’s limitless thirst for energy.
And despite being home to less than 10% of the UK population, Yorkshire is the second highest carbon intensive region after London.
Mr Budge said: “The region has a history of industry and produces 15% of total UK carbon emissions.
“The problem is there has been no clear Government policy in place about this.
“But with carbon capture technology, our project is capable of saving five million tonnes of carbon a year.
“That’s more than the carbon savings from every wind farm built and operating in Britain today.”
Professor Bob Cywinski, Dean of Applied Sciences at the university, talked about his involvement with developing a new particle accelerator technology to help the generation of safe nuclear energy.
He said: “Events like this encourage people to ask questions about the future of energy and it’s absolutely something that we should be talking about.
“There are things people can do from insulating their homes to not driving to work.
“But I think the responsibility has shifted now to the responsibility of the industries and Government.
“We need think of existing and new technologies and initiatives like Richard’s have got to be the way forward.”