UK government expected to approve billions for Drax’s BECCS plan
Drax said this would help it become the world's first cabon-negative power station, and that it would make the organisation a hub of the UK's first zero-carbon industrial cluster - known as the Zero Carbon Humber - assisting in decarbonising the North of England.
The firm announced it had entered formal talks with the government in March last year, with Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner stating: “With the right engagement from government and swift decision making, Drax stands ready to progress our £2 billion (€2.3 billion) investment programme and deliver this critical project for the UK by 2030.”
Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho is expected to secure the scheme this week.
She is due to commission a consultation into the best means to extend the subsidy system, under which Drax received £617 million (€716.5 million) from consumer bills last year. It produces about 4% of the UK's electricity.
Gardiner said: “We plan to invest billions in developing two BECCS units at Drax Power Station which could create up to 10,000 new jobs at the peak of construction.
“BECCS is the only credible large-scale technology that can generate secure renewable power and deliver carbon removals. The development of BECCS at our North Yorkshire site would ensure that it can continue to play a critical role in UK energy security for the long-term, particularly as more intermittent generation comes online and older nuclear plants are decommissioned.
“Worldwide demand for BECCS is growing. In the US, we have seen increasing appetite for the deployment of the technology.
“Our BECCS plans in North Yorkshire would create one of the world’s largest engineered carbon removals projects and put the Humber and the UK on the map as the global centre of BECCS development.
“The UK government wants to deploy five million tonnes of carbon removals by 2030, we believe this can only be achieved through building BECCS at Drax Power Station.
“Government support for deploying BECCS grew in 2023, including the publication of the Biomass Strategy and updates on the Track-1 expansion and Track-2 processes, and we believe that we will see further policy support emerge shortly.”