UK official visits bioenergy carbon capture project at Drax

By Drax Group | May 21, 2019

U.K. Government Minister and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick MP, has visited Drax Power Station to find out about its world-first bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project.

Drax, the U.K.’s largest power station and Europe’s biggest decarbonization project, has successfully converted four of its six generating units to run on sustainable biomass instead of coal, delivering carbon savings of more than 80 percent.

Its innovative BECCS project started capturing carbon dioxide earlier this year and could transform Drax, which supplies 12 percent of the U.K.’s renewable energy, into the world’s first negative emissions power station. This would play a vital role in helping the U.K. to meet its climate change obligations.

If the BECCS pilot can be scaled up to deliver negative emissions, Drax Power Station would be helping to remove the gases that cause global warming from the atmosphere at the same time as electricity is produced.

The U.K. Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero report stated that the country needs carbon capture, usage and storage technologies and hydrogen developed in regional industrial clusters if it is going to achieve a ‘net zero’ carbon economy by 2050.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, who met with the Minister and the team from the treasury officials, said, “We are delighted to welcome Robert Jenrick and the team from the Treasury to Drax. Drax is the biggest renewable power generator in the country and has played a vital role in helping the U.K. to decarbonise faster than anywhere else in the world.

“Our BECCS pilot project could enable Drax to go further to become the anchor for a new zero carbon economy in the Humber region, delivering for the environment and the wider U.K. economy. We are proud of our contribution to the region’s economy and are committed to supporting future growth across the Northern Powerhouse.”

Drax supports more than 5,700 jobs in the North of England and generates over £600 million for the Northern Powerhouse economy.

Jenrick said, “The U.K. is a world leader in tackling climate change, and we have reduced our reliance on carbon faster than any other G20 country since 2000.

“But we will need new, innovative technologies to further reduce our emissions. Today I’ve seen first-hand Drax’s innovative carbon capture project which has the potential to make an important contribution to tackling climate change in the future.”