Drax generated £728 million for the northern economy and supported over 6,600 jobs - Drax

Drax generated £728 million for the northern economy and supported over 6,600 jobs

Independent analysis by Oxford Economics

Top Stories
  • Having converted the power station in North Yorkshire from coal to sustainable biomass Drax Group has delivered for the environment and the economy, preserving jobs and supporting many thousands more throughout its supply chains in the North.

  • The power station is already the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe and Drax intends to go further by deploying bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology to become a carbon negative company by 2030.

  • Using BECCS at Drax will create and support tens of thousands of new jobs in the 2020s.

Renewable energy company Drax Group contributed £728 million towards the economy in the North of England and supported 6,600 jobs across the region, according to a new report.

The independent analysis by Oxford Economics measured the economic impact of Drax’s UK operations, which includes Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire – the country’s biggest renewable power generator, which produces enough renewable electricity for four million homes.

Download – Drax Power Station

Thousands more jobs could be created in the years ahead as part of Drax’s plan to deploy bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology. A report by Vivid Economics found that deploying cutting edge green technologies like BECCS and hydrogen could create and support almost 50,000 jobs in the Humber region this decade.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said:

“Drax’s renewable power operations and sophisticated supply chains are helping level up the UK by supporting jobs, skills and opportunities.

“We aim to go further by deploying cutting edge green technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage to help Britain build back better, delivering a post-Covid, green economic recovery by vital new technologies needed to address the climate crisis.”

Jobs supported by Drax’s activities covered a wide range of sectors including high-skilled manufacturing of industrial components, engineering and technical machinery, IT, professional business services and transporting goods such as sustainable biomass wood pellets.

James Bedford, Economist at Oxford Economics, said:

“Drax Group makes an important economic contribution to the UK. Its activities generated £2.2 billion in GDP in 2019, and sustained thousands of jobs across the nation.

“The positive impact from Drax’s operations aren’t just confined to the boundaries of its power stations or customer contact centres, it is spread across the country benefiting communities throughout the UK.”

The analysis showed the vast majority of the Group’s impact was felt outside London and the South East: Of the £2.2 billion GDP, £140 million was in London, meaning 94% of the Group’s economic impact was experienced outside of the capital.

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Editor’s Notes

  • You can access a copy of the report by going to: https://www.draximpact.co.uk/
  • Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Drax’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.
  • The report’s findings are taken from analysis of the latest available data, from 2019 – just after Drax Group’s acquisition of a portfolio of generation assets, including hydro and gas power stations.

Key findings from the Oxford Economics report:

  • Drax Group contributed £2.2 billion towards UK GDP in 2019 and supported over 19,000 jobs across the country.
  • 4,200 jobs supported in Yorkshire and the Humber.
  • 1,200 jobs supported in Scotland and £211 million generated towards its economy, home to Drax’s hydro operations including the iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan hydro pumped storage power station.
  • £392 million generated and 2,900 jobs supported in the East of England, where one of Drax Group’s B2B power supply businesses, Haven Power, is based.
  • 2,700 jobs supported and £289 million generated in the East Midlands, home to Opus Energy – Drax’s other B2B customer business, which supplies energy to SMEs.
  • Drax commissioned Vivid Economics to examine the socio-economic benefits of developing bioenergy with carbon capture and storage BECCS alongside other cutting-edge green technologies in the Humber region. You can read the full report here.
  • Drax recently announced it was kickstarting the planning process to develop BECCS. Work could get underway at Drax as soon as 2024, creating tens of thousands of jobs. By 2027 Drax’s first BECCS unit could be operational, delivering the UK’s largest carbon capture project and permanently removing millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Its 2,900-strong employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricity generation assets across Britain. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted two thirds of Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

Customers:

Through its two B2B energy supply brands, Haven Power and Opus Energy, Drax supplies energy to 250,000 businesses across England, Scotland and Wales.

Pellet production:

Drax owns and operates three pellet mills in the US South which manufacture compressed wood pellets (biomass) produced from sustainably managed working forests. These pellet mills supply around 20% of the biomass used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com