The Energy White Paper released on Wednesday, which has so far received media attention only because of its support for nuclear power, said that a competition process for building a carbon capture and storage power plant would begin in November. The competition was originally announced in March.
Exasperated at the delay, BP spokesman David Nicholas told Reuters that it was 'an extension too far'. Preparation for the anticipated competition has already cost BP £25 million, and occupied 70 staff for 18 months.
Carbon capture and storage has been highlighted consistently by the government as a key method for tackling rising carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. Its role in reducing the pollution from coal power plants, the most polluting electricity generators, has given rise to the phrase 'clean coal'.
'Of course we're disappointed, it was a good opportunity but just one we couldn't bring to pass,' Nicholas said.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist May 2007