Developing bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) at Drax could save the UK energy system and consumers billions of pounds over the next decade, according to a new report.
The independent analysis by leading energy consultancy Baringa, commissioned by Drax Group, evaluates the impact of deploying BECCS at scale as part of achieving the country’s climate change targets.
It finds that without BECCS at Drax Power Station the energy system would incur additional costs of around £4.5bn to achieve the UK Government’s fifth carbon budget in 2028 to 2032 – making decarbonisation more difficult and significantly more expensive.
Will Gardiner, Drax Group chief executive officier, said:
“Innovative green technologies like BECCS can save the UK billions of pounds in achieving our legally binding climate targets, whilst removing millions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere and supporting tens of thousands of jobs. Drax is ready to invest in this essential technology which will help the UK decarbonise faster and kickstart a whole new industry here. By delivering BECCS, the UK can show the world what can be achieved for the environment and the economy when governments, businesses and communities work together.”
Not developing BECCS at Drax, or more widely across the country, will also have significant costs for the UK reaching its net zero by 2050 target. The report estimates the target will cost £15bn more to achieve without deploying this essential negative emissions technology.
With the right investment framework from government, work to build Drax’s first two BECCS units could get underway as soon as 2024, ready to start capturing and storing millions of tonnes of CO2 a year in 2027.
Drax has already transformed its power station near Selby in North Yorkshire to become the largest decarbonisation project in Europe having converted it to use sustainable biomass instead of coal. It plans to go further by using BECCS and last month kickstarted the planning process.