Will Gardiner comments on National Grid announcement that Great Britain’s energy system will achieve an historic milestone in 2019

Drax Group CEO says ‘to reach our zero carbon targets we need negative emissions’

“The UK is decarbonising its energy system more rapidly than anywhere else in the world but to reach our zero carbon targets we need negative emissions. Biomass with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) has the potential to deliver negative emissions. Scaling up our successful BECCS pilot project means Drax could become the world’s first negative emissions power station as soon as the mid-2020s, delivering for the environment and the economy.”

Notes to editors

  • Two thirds of Drax Power Station has been converted from coal to use sustainable biomass, delivering carbon savings of more than 80% and transforming the business to become Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project. Drax is now the biggest renewable power generator in the UK, producing enough renewable electricity for four million households.
  • Biomass is the only flexible renewable which can provide the full range of system support services needed to maintain secure power supplies as more weather dependent renewables come online.
  • Drax’s BECCS pilot could be scaled up to deliver negative emissions as soon as the mid-2020s, which would mean Drax Power Station would be helping to remove gases that cause global warming from the atmosphere at the same time as electricity is produced.
  • Drax is talking to a number of industries about using the CO2it is already capturing in their processes – including for the creation of proteins used in animal feed products.
  • Drax is also working with Equinor and National Grid Ventures in a project to explore the potential to create a zero carbon hydrogen economy in the Humber region. If Drax can scale up its BECCS pilot it could create more opportunities for capturing and storing carbon dioxide from other industrial emitters in the Humber region, unlocking the potential to create a new hydrogen economy, creating jobs and delivering major environmental benefits globally.
  • Today Drax is capturing a tonne of carbon dioxide a day from its pilot – once scaled up it could capture up to 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year