Update: Redbank Power Station (burning native forests for electricity instead of coal – or not)

Redbank power station have submitted a modification application to their original coal based Development Application, a modification which will allow them to burn native forest ‘biofuel’ instead of coal.

The original reasoning for the 1993 Singleton Council development consent for the Redbank power station was that the power station burn local coal mine waste tailings, as a way of eliminating the the need for mine tailings dams and tailings waste disposal expenses.

The Caldera Environment Centre provided the following Submission in Objection to the da modification application:

 

For the attention of Singleton Council, council@singleton.nsw.gov.au

Submission In Objection, Re: Redbank Power Station, S4.56 DA Modification Application, to allow use of biomass as a fuel source instead of the currently and originally approved coal.

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The original 1993 Singleton Council development consent for the Redbank power station specified that the power station burn coal, which prevents them from burning native forest ‘biomass’ as furnace fuel.

The Caldera Environment Centre OBJECT in the strongest possible terms to the da modification application by the owners of the Redbank power station to burn Native Forests ‘biomass’ for electricity.

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1. We object to the proposal on ecological grounds. 

Native Forest ‘biomass’ for furnace fuel for electricity is Ecologically Unsustainable.

We are living in the age of the Ecological Crisis, the collapse of The Ecology, the collapse of the systems of inter-related, inter-dependent life forms on this planet. We must urgently protect the remaining ecology, the native forest ecologies in particular to this consent application.

Native forest ‘biomass’ for furnace fuel for electricity is literally destroying the native forests ecologies, literally destroying forests to feed the forests into furnaces (to make steam to make electricity). 

The proposed modification to the application adds significant forest ecology destruction compared to the original da and should be rejected on ecological considerations.

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2. We object to the proposal on atmospheric carbon capture and emissions grounds. 

Native forest biomass destroys the carbon capture and storage forests.

Burning biomass is 50% more CO2 emissive than burning coal. 

Burning biomass is authorised and subsidised by governments to replace coal, greenwashing their unmet carbon reduction promises.

The proposed modification to the application causes significant carbon emissions and carbon sequestration damage compared to the original da and should be rejected on carbon capture and emissions considerations.

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As Consent Authority Singleton Council is an early marker of the ability of Local Councils to resist state and industry plans for the destruction of our local forest ecologies.

The Caldera Environment Centre

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The DA modification application has been exhibited by the Council for comment (from 31 August 2021 to 27 September 2021). The amended plans and documents are available for inspection on Council’s website: PROPOSAL: S4.56 Modification to allow use of biomass as a fuel source https://www.singleton.nsw.gov.au/310/Public-Exhibition

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