Coal gas works

Cluff Natural Resources said it planned to build the UK’s first underground coal gasification (UCG) plant (your report, 11 November).

This process involves burning coal deep underground and the gas released, called “syngas”, is pumped to the surface. The gas extracted by this process will be much cleaner than burning coal. As your editorial said, “what’s not to like?”

This is another opportunity for economic recovery, and energy-intensive industries would benefit from a new low-cost source of fuel gas and petrochemical feedstock. It would also give energy security.

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As expected, the environmental groups rush to oppose all such schemes, saying energy development should be focused on renewables.

Since electricity generation is only 23 per cent of CO2 emissions, what about the other 77 per cent?

UCG has been around for over 100 years and has been tried in many countries.

The green zealots keep going on about stopping burning fossil fuels but the rest of the world are not listening.

There are 2300 coal plants worldwide, including the 620 in China, and even Europe is building 49 coal-fired plants.

The UK, with only 1.5 per cent of global CO2, can never influence “saving the planet”.

Clark Cross

Springfield Road