Nant Llesg opencast decision due on 23/6 as the UK breaks Renewable Records

Anti Opencast Blog 22/6/15

Two items of contrasting news: Nant Llesg opencast decision due on 23/6  as the UK breaks Renewable Records

On the day before Caerphilly Council considers the proposal to mine 6m tonnes of coal from the Nant Llesg site, we have news that the Renewable Energy sector has just broken two records. These are: that we have now installed 8.1GW of SolarPV power in the UK and 5GW of Offshore Wind turbine power.

Recent developments in Energy Storage technology that can now store intermittent sources of energy, which I’ll write about soon, added to this increasing capacity to generate electricity suggests that soon, we will not need this coal for power generation purposes.

Could it be, at this late stage, that Caerphilly Councillors do not follow the advice of their planning officer and reject this application?film Snowden 2016

Here’s what campaigner Alyson Austin has to say (courtesy of FOE):

“Can you imagine what it’s like to live on the edge of an opencast coal mine? Because that’s where I live – next to the Ffos-y-fran opencast coal mine that overshadows the town of Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales. The dust from the mine soils people’s washing and coats every flat surface. Merthyr already has sky-high rates of lung disease.

“The company that runs the mine has dug out 5 million tonnes of coal from it so far, and is set to extract another 6 million tonnes before they’re done. But now the same company wants to dig another vast opencast coal pit on the other side of the hill, at Nant Llesg. We simply can’t let them. Access the planning documents here.

“The local effects of digging up more and more coal are devastating enough – and the global impacts are terrifying. Coal is the dirtiest, most high-carbon form of fossil fuel – and we need to leave 80% of all fossil fuels in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change.

“Last month, Welsh Assembly Members voted for a moratorium on opencast coal mining in Wales, but the Welsh Government has so far ignored the Assembly. Welsh Minister for Natural Resources, Carl Sargeant has pledged only to hold a summit on opencast coal mining at some unspecified future date. But we already know the dangers; the Government simply needs to listen to Assembly Members and communities like ours.

“Welsh coal kickstarted the Industrial Revolution. That’s a proud part of our heritage. But it’s history now and it’s time to move to cleaner, greener and less destructive sources of energy. Our struggle is part of the same fight against fossil fuels being fought across the UK and the world. Let’s make this decision on the Nant Llesg opencast coal mine a line in the sand – a moment at which we say together: “Leave fossil fuels in the ground – for all our sakes.”