Britain's largest biomass plant has been given the go-ahead by the Environment Agency (EA) this week.
The Prenergy plant in Port Talbot, South Wales will use FSC-sourced wood to produce enough electricity for 500,000 homes and produce 50 to 80 per cent less carbon dioxide emissions than gas or coal-fired power stations.
But local campaign groups have criticised the EA for not insisting on the plant using waste heat as a further source of energy.
'We cannot afford not to be using combined heat and power (CHP),' said Friends of the Earth Cymru director Gordon James.
'It should have been a formality for this plant to use it as it is located next to such a big urban area that could use the waste heat.
'It just shows that the Government and EA are not taking the issue of climate change seriously,' he said.
The EA has set emission limits on the power plant owners Prenergy Power after concerns expressed by local residents about air quality. Port Talbot already has steel works and the M4 motorway running through the town.