Energy giant says Kent plant will not be needed until 2016 due to falling demand for power

Energy giant E.ON has announced that it is to put plans for a £1.5bn carbon capture and storage coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth on ice because of falling electricity demand.

The firm said that falling demand for power due to the recession meant the Kent plant would not now be needed until 2016.

The plant has been massively controversial with environmentalists, who only last month stormed the offices of Laing O'Rourke in Kent because of the firm's involvement with the scheme.

A spokesperson for the firm said: "As a group, we remain committed to the development of cleaner coal and carbon capture and storage (CCS), which we believe have a key role to play alongside renewables, gas and nuclear, in tackling the global threat of climate change, while ensuring affordability and security of energy supplies."

The plan has not yet received planning permission by the government, with E.ON bidding for a part on the government's carbon capture and storage pilot scheme, which Building reported in May is running two years behind schedule. Earlier in the year the government said no new coal-fired power stations would get approved without carbon capture and storage technology.

The current coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth is due to be decommissioned in 2015.