A Merthyr Tydfil MP fighting against Covanta’s 750,000 tonne Brig E Cwm energy-from-waste (EfW) facility in his constituency has called for the Government to omit incineration technology from the National Policy Statement (NPS) for renewable energy infrastructure.
In an amendment tabled during a House of Commons debate over the policy statement, which sets out the framework for future planning decisions for renewables, Labour MP Dai Havard called for the Commons to “decline to approve it until it is amended to omit energy-from-waste (EfW) plants”.
Questions over the viability of incineration technology were also raised by Labour MP for Edmonton Andrew Love, who asked whether it should be reclassified as a fossil fuel as it “produces significant quantities of CO2”.
In his defence of the NPS, which recognised the significance of the controversial technology, energy minister Charles Hendry said that the Government was approaching the policy in a “holistic” manner.
Hendry said: “My concern about any suggestion of taking this element out of the national policy statements is that the Infrastructure Planning Commission would then have no guidance whatever in making a determination on a large plant. That would have create havoc; it would be much worse for local communities and it would create many additional anxieties.”
Speaking in the debate, Havard added: “Local people are trying to decide how best to deal with their own waste locally. Part of the solution might be smaller incineration, and I do not contest that. I contest the scale of the current proposals, which is why I have tabled the amendments.”
In a statement released ahead of the debate, Havard warned: “I have submitted amendments to take large scale incineration of waste out of the NPS. I expect however that the Liberal Democrat secretary of state and his ministers will not stop them but may strengthen the rules.”