At a glance
Drax is the second largest producer of sustainable biomass globally, and the UK’s largest source of renewable power by output. We are progressing options for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).
Our integrated flexible and renewable value chain
The material we use to make pellets includes sawmill and forest residuals, and low-grade roundwood, material of a lower grade which is unsuitable for use in a sawmill. They provide a sustainable, low carbon fuel source that can be safely and efficiently delivered through our global supply chain.
The forests we source our biomass from are managed in accordance with standards designed to support the health and growth of these forests over the long term. Based in the US south and in Western Canada, we have 18 operational and development sites with nameplate capacity of around 5Mt once expansions are complete.
We have US$4.1 billion of long-term contracted sales to third parties across Asia and Europe. Our Generation business also uses pellets sourced from our Pellet Production sites to make flexible, renewable electricity for the UK.
Our portfolio of flexible, low-carbon and renewable UK power assets – biomass, hydro, and pumped storage generation – provides dispatchable, renewable power and system support services to the electricity grid.
Our dispatchable power – which can be ramped up and down, or switched on or off, at short notice to provide a flexible response to changes in electricity demand – has a vital role to play in enabling the transition to more renewable energy and a more flexible energy system: generating renewable electricity when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.
We are the UK’s largest source of renewable power by output, and Drax Power Station is the UK’s largest single source of renewable electricity by output. Our portfolio provides long-term earnings stability and opportunities to optimise returns from the transition to a low-carbon economy.
We are developing options for BECCS at Drax Power Station in the UK and exploring options for global BECCS.
Our Customers business is principally focused on renewable electricity sales to industrial and corporate customers in the UK.
The business also offers non-generation system support and energy management services, such as the provision of decarbonisation services, including vehicle fleet electrification. It also provides a route to market for many smaller embedded renewable generators.
Our role in delivering a secure and renewable energy system, tackling climate change, sustaining healthy forests and habitats, and promoting socio‑economic growth
2022 was a challenging year for the global community. The after-effects of Covid-19 and the continuing effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine combined to have an impact on the social, economic, and political fabric of most countries around the world. Developed economies experienced rising demand, high energy costs, and supply chain issues, driving inflation and resulting in a cost of living crisis for many people.
Bolstering energy security
In 2022, Drax generated 11% of the UK’s renewable electricity – more than any other generator. This electricity comes from Drax Power Station – fuelled by sustainable biomass – in North Yorkshire and our pumped storage and hydro sites in Scotland.
Rising global acceptance of BECCS
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world’s leading authority on climate science. It states that carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods, including BECCS, are needed to mitigate residual emissions and keep the world on a pathway to limit warming to 1.5ºC.
Delivering a future positive outcome
To tackle the climate crisis, the world needs secure, renewable energy – and to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
The IPCC and a number of governments agree that CDR methods, including BECCS, are necessary elements in achieving this goal. Drax is the world’s leading sustainable biomass generation, production, and supply business, and is now developing options for BECCS in the UK and North America. Our Responsible Sourcing Policy is informed by science, and the biomass we use to generate electricity is assessed against sustainable forest management principles.
Where we operate
- 18 operational and development sites, with nameplate capacity of around 5Mt once expansions are complete.
- Five deep water ports, accessing Asian and European markets.
- Dispatchable, renewable power generation – biomass, hydro, and pumped storage – and supply to British industry.
- Development of carbon removals technology – BECCS.