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Extra resources for Environmental Impact of Energy Strategies Within the EEC. A Report Prepared for the Environment and Consumer Protection, Service of the Commission of the European Communities

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Recommendation 4: Coal imports We believe that there is a reasonable prospect that the potential environmental consequences, chiefly atmospheric pollution, from increased coal consumption can in the future be satisfactorily controlled within reasonable cost. While recognising that local disturbance and loss of amenity will occur from increased indigenous coal production, we do not feel these impacts are sufficient to offset the economic advantages this would provide (the same argument applies to indigenous hydrocarbon production) and the increased flexibility of supply.

However, it is very expensive to transport solid waste large distances and so there are strong economic pressures to find local solutions. The minimum expected increase in solid waste from coal combustion is about 30%. The movement and disposal of this waste will undoubtedly cause local disturbances and could impinge on the amenity of the area. Additional problems will be created if wet limestone flue gas desulphurisation is introduced, as the residue from this process is a sludge, and is some 2-3 times the amount of solid waste produced with no flue-gas treatment.

E. an improved load factor was achieved. Overall system load factor depends upon the nature of the market supplied, the climate and the way in which electricity is priced, and so varies from country to country. However, it is very difficult to predict how system load factor will change and there are as many arguments for believing it will deteriorate as there are for expecting it to improve. Therefore, it is assumed that a given rise in the overall demand for electricity will result in an equivalent rise in the generating and transmission capacity.

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