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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Power plant lowers carbon levels
Didcot Power Station
Didcot Power Station provides electricity for two million homes
A power plant labelled one of the worst in the UK for pollution is to supply energy generated from wood shavings.

The Didcot A station will now provide electricity for 100,000 homes created with the use of carbon-neutral fuels, as well as coal-fired power production.

A new facility will use bio-mass fuels which absorb as much carbon dioxide when growing as they create when burnt.

A 2003 survey by campaigners Friends of the Earth put Didcot A in a league of inefficient "carbon dinosaur" stations.

The station's owners have said about 300,000 tonnes of coal used each year could be replaced with bio-mass fuels.

The goal is it to create an energy crop industry
Npower spokesman

A spokesman for owners Npower told BBC News: "It's a quite significant increase in the amount of bio-fuel that we can burn.

"We're opening the 3.5m facility which can blend in greater volumes - displacing coal that could be burnt otherwise."

Polluting stations

He said the amount of power supplied using the bio-mass fuel was equivalent to that created by a large wind farm.

The company has been trialling the use of bio-mass fuels which include sawdust, wood chip, elephant grass and miscanthus grass over the past four years, working towards the new Didcot scheme.

The spokesman added: "These are by-products from other industries, but the goal is it to create an energy crop industry."

Duncan McLaren, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth, who compiled the league table of polluting stations, said coal-fired stations pump out three times the amount of greenhouse gases as gas-fired stations.

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