Ofgem has commissioned a probe into biomass firm Drax's adherence to sustainability rules, the Financial Times reported.
The UK energy regulator has tasked US consultants with examining Drax over its use of biomass, having launched an investigation into Drax in 2022, according to documents procured via a Freedom of Information application.
A Drax spokesperson told ELN: “Ofgem has recently informed Drax that it will commence an audit to verify the information the business provides to the regulator for the issue of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) and Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin Certificates (REGOs).
“This a standard audit under Ofgem’s RO scheme and is not being undertaken using investigative powers.”
An Ofgem spokesperson said to ELN: “Ofgem takes scheme compliance extremely seriously and where we identify or suspect that requirements are not being met we may decide to investigate further.
“We regularly undertake additional audits of Drax’s adherence to the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme, using an independent auditor. This is an extra layer of assurance, over and above the requirements set out in regulations, recognising the significant values involved.”
The news follows Sky's report that Drax has been told by its own scientific advisors that it should stop calling biomass 'carbon neutral'.
It should "reassess its criteria for determining carbon neutrality", according to a summary of meetings and correspondence last year, reported Sky.
"Drax should move away from saying 'carbon stocks are increasing/stable' and stating biomass is carbon neutral," added the board, chaired by former government chief scientific adviser Professor Sir John Beddington.