Brussels (AFP) - A coal-burning power plant in Yorkshire is to receive 300 million euros in EU funds to develop a new way of keeping polluting carbon emissions out of the atmosphere, the EU said Tuesday.
The British project is one of 19 schemes in a one billion euro ($1.4 billion) European Union effort to fight global warming and encourage innovation towards green energy.
Carbon capture storage technology, known as CCS, is a largely untested technique of trapping CO2 emissions from power plants and other large sources, then liquifying them and storing them deep underground.
Carbon storage has been hailed as a much-needed solution for making fossil fuel use cleaner, but the technology has so far proved too risky, costly and energy inefficient in its own right.
"This is the first time we are granting money to a carbon capture project," said EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard.
"This is the first in Europe and one of the first in the world," she said.
The British scheme, known as the White Rose project, will capture 90 percent of the carbon produced through the burning of coal at the Drax power plant in Yorkshire, northern England.
The carbon will then be transported to an offshore storage site in the North Sea.
Drax is Britain’s largest coal-fired power station, and the project will include the construction of a new power plant and the necessary carbon transport and storage network.
“This is great news for Yorkshire and for Britain," said Britain's Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey.
"White Rose will create thousands of green, local jobs and make a real difference to cutting carbon emissions," he said.
The 19 projects announced Tuesday also include the development of a geo-thermal plant on the border of France and Germany near Strasbourg and a wind power project in Cyprus.
In all, the scheme includes projects in 12 member states and will bring some two billion euros in investment when private partnerships are included, the EU said.