SPAIN is joining the UK, Germany and Canada in investigating the potential of carbon capture as a means of fighting global warming.
By the end of this year, Spain will have its first Carbon Capture and Storage Technology (CCS) plant working in El Bierzo, Leon.
Storage sites are also being considered around the country, including three in Andalucia, in the Guadalquivir delta, the Campo de Gibraltar and in Jaen.
A huge 1,100 euro investigation into carbon capture has just been announced in the UK by Energy Minister Ed Milliband. The first plant will be built in Kingsnorth in Kent.
Both countries are following in the footsteps of Canada and Germany, where small-scale projects have been running for a couple of years.
CCS involves burying carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal-fired power stations underground, initially at least 25 per cent, but 100 per cent by 2025.
This double imperative of discovering environmentally friendly methods of producing energy has united all sides of the green debate, although Greenpeace has some doubts.
Director John Sauven doubts the will of the electricity companies to reduce their carbon emissions.
“If CCS technology doesn’t work,” he said, “how will the government ensure that the UK isn’t left with a legacy of new coal-fired power stations churning out huge quantities of CO2, just when the country should be reducing its emissions?”