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Planet Ark World Environment News UK Alkane Energy launches green energy park

Date: 14-Oct-02
Country: UK

The new Alkane Energy Park built on the former Wheldale coal mine in West Yorkshire in north England has a capacity of 10.6 megawatt and is expected to cut methane emissions from the mine by 85 percent, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in a statement.

"Converting methane from abandoned coal mines into electricity is an innovative method of generating electricity," British Energy Minister Brian Wilson said in the statement.

"If fully exploited it could provide an extremely valuable contribution to meeting the UK's Kyoto targets."

The Kyoto protocol aims to curb global warming by cutting greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane by 5.2 percent by 2008-2012 on 1990s levels.

Britain plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 percent during the same period under the Kyoto protocol.

There are more than 1,000 abandoned coalmines in the UK and estimates suggest they could leak up to 13.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the DTI said.

Coalmine methane gas is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide produced from conventional coal-fired power stations, it added.

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