£4.5bn can be saved with carbon storage

Drax predicts that developing bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) could save the UK energy system and consumers billions of pounds over the next decade.

The company plans to capture millions of tonnes of CO2 a year by developing two BECCS units by 2030, delivering 40 per cent of the negative emissions from BECCS the UK Climate Change Committee indicates will be needed in 2050 for the UK to reach net-zero.

An independent analysis by 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, finding that without BECCS at Drax Power Station the energy system would incur additional costs of around £4.5bn to achieve the Government’s fifth carbon budget in 2028 to 2032 – making decarbonisation more difficult and significantly more expensive.

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 negative emissions technology.

Work to build Drax’s first two BECCS units could get underway in 2024, ready to start capturing and storing 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.

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