Archives: Press Release

Analysis: Delays to building new UK power generation creates energy security ‘crunch point’ in 2028

  • By 2028 the UK’s demand for power is set to exceed secure dispatchable and baseload capacity by 7.5GW at peak times
  • “Crunch point” is a result of delays in bringing new generation on to the system, increasing demand for power and upcoming retirement of existing assets
  • Shortfall would leave UK more dependent on intermittent domestic and international generation
  • Mitigation includes extending the use of existing nuclear and dispatchable generation, including biomass, and supporting reduction in peak demand

New independent analysis by Public First, ‘Mind the gap: Exploring Britain’s energy crunch’, commissioned by Drax Group (Drax), reveals that the UK will hit an energy security “crunch point” in 2028.

Public First’s research finds that in 2028 a perfect storm of an increase in demand, the retirement of existing assets, and delays to the delivery of Hinkley Point C will culminate in demand exceeding secure dispatchable and baseload capacity by 7.5GW at peak times.

This shortfall is more than three times the secure de-rated power that Sizewell C will be capable of providing to the system when completed – 2.5GW – and nearly double the gap in 2022 (4GW). Uncertainty for biomass generators, which contribute over 3GW of secure dispatchable power, risks compounding the shortfall by nearly 50%.

The analysis also shows that over the next five years the headroom between secure total supply and peak demand is tightest in 2028. This is when total de-rated capacity is expected to be just 5GW higher than demand in peak times – this represents a significant reduction (c.-40%) from the average expected headroom across 2024-2027 (8.5GW).

The scale of the energy crunch will play out when National Grid ESO runs its T-4 Capacity Market Auction to procure sufficient power generating capacity to keep the lights on in 2027-28. The margin between target capacity the ESO wants to secure (44GW) and how much generation has entered the auction (43.4GW) is the tightest it has ever been since the auctions started ten years ago.

The research underscores that energy security will be a key issue in the next Parliamentary term. Without additional action taken to make up the shortfall, the UK will be more dependent on intermittent power from international energy interconnectors and renewables like wind and solar.

The report states building additional new capacity is unlikely to have a material impact in time and that to deliver certainty the Government should:

  • Extend the use of existing baseload generation assets which provide secure capacity, including nuclear plants scheduled to retire, and agree transitional arrangements for biomass operators that plan to install bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.
  • Work to reduce peak demand by encouraging flexibility and installing more home insulation.

Richard Gwilliam, Drax Group’s UK BECCS Programme Director, said:

“Delivering energy security is a critical and longstanding challenge for all governments. The need to maintain it while tackling climate change and rapidly decarbonising economies makes the issue all the more acute.

“This research demonstrates the UK is facing a power generation crunch point, with demand set to outstrip the supply of secure dispatchable and baseload capacity – leaving the UK reliant on intermittent forms of generation. To keep the lights on, part of the solution will be extending the lives of existing generation assets. Drax Power Station and our pumped storage and hydro power sites already provide secure, renewable electricity for millions of homes and businesses – but there’s more we can do.

“Drax plans to massively expand the generation capacity of Cruachan pumped storage power station in Scotland, some of which could be available to help bridge the power gap. Additionally, providing we secure the appropriate transitional support, our project to deliver two units of BECCS at our Selby site would also support energy security and decarbonisation through the crunch and well into the future.”

Daisy Powell-Chandler, Head of Energy and Environment at Public First, said:

“Setbacks in bringing new nuclear and offshore wind online, the retirement of generation assets and increasing power demand will create an energy crunch point in 2028. But the challenge of keeping the lights on is not set in stone: policymakers have a suite of levers they can pull to ensure that we have a more secure, diverse, and sustainable energy system in the future.”

As part of the research, Public First polled UK residents to better understand public perceptions of energy security following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The polling found that energy security remains high on the public agenda with 46% of those polled feeling that there was a medium-high risk of energy shortages this coming winter and almost 41% feel the risk of energy shortages is increasing.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

About research:

The link to the report can be found here

 

Media contacts:

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415

About Drax:

Drax Group’s (Drax) 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.

Drax’s c.3,500 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies four percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator. It is also where Drax is piloting the 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.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.

Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.

Customers: 

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com

 

Drax Foundation supports Energy Sparks’ workshops in Yorkshire schools

Staff from Drax’s Community Team also supported the workshops at the schools, helping pupils understand the effects that climate change is having on the planet and how, through reducing both their personal and school’s energy usage, they can help the environment. This included using creative examples of global warming, including how participants in a walking expedition to the North and South Poles would observe its effects on their trek.

The funding for the workshops comes from a £150,000 grant that the Foundation provided to the charity in 2023. This money has helped Bath-based Energy Sparks work with a further 240 schools across the UK by providing free access to their online energy management tool, education programme and support services.

These schools are located in the areas of the country where Drax Group operates: Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, and East of England.

The funding is drawn from a pot of £2.5m that Drax Foundation ringfenced to enable UK schools and other non-profit organisations to install energy-efficient LED lights and solar panels, and deliver energy saving monitoring and education.

This year, the Foundation intends to provide additional funding for a range of measures to help schools reduce their energy consumption.

Shona King, Drax Group Head of Community, said:

“It was fantastic to participate in Energy Sparks’ workshops at Selby Community Primary School and Carlton Primary School. The climate challenge is the biggest issue we face and it is so important that young people learn how they can play a part in solving it by reducing both their personal and school’s energy consumption and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

“That is why we are proud of the funding we provide to Energy Sparks. We have been working closely with the charity over the last few months and we can see first-hand the amazing work they do to support schools and pupils across the UK to cut their energy use, save money and support the fight against climate change.”

 

Dr Claudia Towner, CEO and Programme Director at Energy Sparks, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the Drax Foundation. Their funding means we can reach even more schools and pupils, and remove financial barriers to ongoing engagement for some of the existing schools using our services.

“Our work equips children and young people with the knowledge, skills, and tools to take measurable action in their school and wider community to reduce carbon emissions. We also enable school leaders, staff and communities to better understand and reduce their school’s energy consumption, save money and introduce wider measures to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Danielle Burton, Deputy Head at Carlton Primary School, said:

“The workshop allowed our School Council group to begin to look at our energy use in school and really opened our eyes to all the things we can do to reduce our usage. The children can’t wait to now take this on themselves and make a real difference.”

ENDS

Media contacts: 

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415

About Drax

Drax Group’s (Drax) 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.

Drax’s c.3,500 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

To find out more information about the Drax Foundation go to the website www.drax.com/community

Bridging Mechanism Consultation

Drax welcomes the UK Government’s announcement of the launch of a consultation on a transitional support mechanism for large-scale biomass generators, including Drax Power Station, as they transition from the end of their current renewable schemes in 2027 to bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

The consultation, which closes on 29 February 2024, recognises the important role which biomass can play in delivering the UK’s plans for net zero as well as energy security, and sets out four models for consideration, including two variations of a CfD model.

Drax Group CEO, Will Gardiner said:

“The Government’s announcement is a welcome step forward in facilitating the deployment of large-scale BECCS and the development of CCUS Clusters in the UK.

“BECCS is currently the only credible large-scale technology that can generate renewable power and deliver carbon removals. The consultation is necessary to develop an appropriate mechanism that will ensure biomass power stations, like Drax Power Station, continue to play an important role in the UK’s energy security while transitioning to BECCS and helping the UK to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. We will be responding to the consultation in due course.”

In December 2023, the UK Government reiterated its ambition to deploy at least 5 MtCO2/year of engineered greenhouse gas removals by 2030, potentially scaling to 23 MtCO2/year by 2035 and up to 81 MtCO2/year by 2050, and published its latest position on the design of a Power BECCS business model, which includes a 15-year CfD with a dual payment mechanism linked to both low-carbon electricity and negative emissions.

Emma Pinchbeck, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said:

“After planning permission was granted earlier this week, it’s very good news to see another important step in the progress of Drax’s carbon capture project.

“As the Climate Change Committee has made clear, BECCS will play an important role in further reducing emissions and reaching the goal of a Net Zero power system. Drax Power Station is the largest provider of renewable electricity in the country, fitting carbon capture technology to it could remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide every year and ensure it continues to play an important part in supporting the country’s energy security.

“As well as providing an economic boost to the area, the UK can also benefit from taking a leading role in the development and expansion of carbon capture technology which will be crucial to decarbonisation efforts right across the world.”

Drax believes that delivery of this ambition will require the development of at least one BECCS unit at Drax Power Station by 2030. Subject to the right investment framework, Drax plans to install carbon capture technology on two of the existing four biomass units. Each unit would be capable of capturing c.4Mt of CO2 per year.

A link to the consultation is copied below.
Transitional support mechanism for large-scale biomass electricity generators – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Analysis by the consultancy Baringa (commissioned by Drax) shows that BECCS at Drax Power Station could save the UK up to £15bn between 2030 and 2050 and would help ensure that the station continues to provide important security of supply benefits. A link to the report can be found here.

Other developments

Separately, on Tuesday 16 January 2024, the UK Government approved the Development Consent Order (DCO) for plans to convert two biomass units at Drax Power Station to BECCS.

The DCO is another milestone for the project, providing planning consent for its development.

Enquiries:

Drax Investor Relations: Mark Strafford
[email protected]
+44 (0) 7730 763 949

Media:

Drax External Communications: Chris Mostyn / Andy Low
[email protected]
+44 (0) 7548 838 896

[email protected]
+44 (0) 7841 068 415

Website: www.Drax.com

END

UK Government approves planning application for BECCS at Drax Power Station

Drax Power Station currently has four biomass generating units and produces around 4% of the country’s power and 9% of its renewable electricity.

The DCO is a milestone for the project, providing planning consent for its development. BECCS is currently the only credible large-scale technology that can both deliver carbon removals and generate renewable power. Drax’s BECCS plans will enable Drax Power Station to continue to play a critical role in supporting UK energy security and would enable it to remove approximately 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year when both units are fully operational.

Recent Baringa analysis found that delivering BECCS at Drax Power Station could, if implemented, save the UK £15bn in whole economy costs between 2030 and 2050 providing a more efficient, cost effective and straightforward pathway to meeting Net Zero targets than other potential options.

Drax Group’s plans to invest billions in its BECCS plans, subject to the right support from the UK Government. This could deliver up to 10,000 high-skilled jobs in the Humber at the peak of the project’s construction as well as safeguarding 7,000 direct and supply chain jobs.  Drax’s Group’s ambition is to source up to 80% of the materials and services it needs to develop BECCS in the UK from British businesses.

Will Gardiner, CEO Drax Group, said:

“The DCO approval is another milestone in the development of our BECCS plans, and demonstrates both the continued role that Drax Power Station has in delivering UK energy security and the critical role it could have in delivering large-scale carbon dioxide removals to meet Net Zero targets.

“We look forward to working with our supply chain and other partners over the coming years on the project which, when fully operational, will deliver secure renewable power and approximately 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide removals per year.

“We welcome the ongoing development of policy support for BECCS and the anticipated launch of a consultation on a bridging mechanism for biomass generators to take them from the end of current renewable schemes through to BECCS operations.”

Selby MP Keir Mather welcomed the news noting the impact the announcement will have on the future of jobs in the local area:

“I’m very pleased to see that Drax have today secured planning permission to progress towards BECCS here in my constituency.

As well as being a key local employer providing and securing hundreds of jobs in the Selby area, Drax will play a crucial role in Britain’s decarbonisation with this technology. I’m delighted that their almost 1000-strong workforce can now look forward with confidence following this news.”

Henri Murison, Chief Executive of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said:

“This announcement is a major step forward for continuing the progress towards the decarbonised grid we need to reach net zero, with reliability and certainty to meet the needs of consumers and businesses. The project will unlock millions of pounds of contract opportunities for businesses across the North, as well as creating thousands of jobs, and cement the region’s place as the centre of UK energy security.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

A link to the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero’s decision letter can be found here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/EN010120/EN010120-001660-Drax_BECCS_SoS_Decision_Letter.pdf

The decision letter makes clear that the Examining Authority was satisfied of the ability of the Proposed Development to achieve a 95% capture efficiency and that it was reasonable to treat biomass combustion emissions as zero rated. The Examining Authority concludes that over the whole life of the Proposed Development there would be negative GHG emissions due to carbon captured in the operational phase.

Media contacts:

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415 

About Drax:

Drax Group’s (Drax) 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.

Drax’s c.3,500 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies four percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator. It is also where Drax is piloting the 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.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.

Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.

Customers: 

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com

Analysis: development of BECCS at Drax Power Station projected to save UK £15bn and offset carbon emissions equivalent to all departing flights from Heathrow

  • Cost savings from carbon removals from BECCS at Drax are projected to be equivalent to £700m per year from 2030 to 2050, compared to other more complex carbon reduction measures
  • Annual amount of carbon captured by the project would be equivalent to taking 3 million cars off the road or cancelling all annual departing flights from Heathrow
  • BECCS at Drax is believed to be the only credible, large-scale carbon removals option that could deliver energy security and support the UK’s 2030 Greenhouse Gas Removals target
  • A bridging mechanism, a key enabler of BECCS, applied prior to the start of BECCS operations could save billions particularly if gas prices spike

New analysis by Baringa and commissioned by Drax Group (Drax) – The Value of BECCS at Drax Power Station – finds that Drax’s proposals for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) could save the UK up to £15bn in whole economy costs between 2030 and 2050.

This saving is equivalent to around £700m per annum, or £25 per household per year, and could help provide a more efficient pathway to meeting the UK’s Net Zero targets.

BECCS is currently the only credible technology that can create carbon removals while also supporting UK energy security by generating renewable electricity. Drax could initially convert two of its generating units to the technology at its North Yorkshire site.

Baringa’s findings demonstrate that without BECCS at Drax, meeting carbon reduction targets is more complicated and expensive for the UK Government and carbon savings would be needed in other sectors. Including, for example, investment in synthetic natural gas production facilities costing £8.5bn, committing to 735,000 more heat pumps beyond existing stretch targets, costing £5bn, amongst other measures.

Will Gardiner, CEO Drax Group, said:

“Climate change is the greatest challenge we face and the UK needs to use every option available to reduce carbon emissions and reach Net Zero as urgently as possible.

“This research shows BECCS at Drax Power Station offers the most cost-effective, straightforward and efficient way to help the country meet climate targets and could save billions of pounds, remove millions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere and support the UK’s energy security.

“To hit the UK’s annual carbon removal target, we need to build BECCS at Drax Power Station. Policy support for deploying BECCS grew in 2023, including the publication of the Biomass Strategy, and we believe that we will see the launch of a consultation on the bridging mechanism shortly.”

With around 7 GW of nuclear and coal capacity expected to close between 2024 and 2030, and growing uncertainty around timelines for new nuclear deployment, Baringa’s research underscores the critical role of Drax in delivering both cost effective energy security today and following potential BECCS conversion, in the future. The power station generates around 4% of the country’s power and 9% of its renewable electricity by output1.

The report also shows that the implementation of a bridging mechanism between the end of Drax’s renewable contracts in 2027 and the potential start of BECCS operations could save around £2bn over the period, if gas prices remained similar to the current winter period. This is the equivalent to reducing each UK household’s yearly energy bills by £5. Under Baringa’s model, if gas prices spiked over one winter period, as they did in 2021/22, then the mechanism could save households around £3.5bn in one winter period alone.

Drax investment in UK BECCS could also deliver up to 10,000 high-skilled jobs across the UK at the peak of the project’s construction, as well as safeguarding up to 7,000 direct and supply chain jobs.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

 1 For the period Q2 2022 to Q1 2023.

Baringa Report: The research shows that the carbon removals that BECCS at Drax Power Station could deliver each year are approximately equivalent to:

  • Taking an additional 3 million internal combustion cars off the road
  • Or reducing the total number of departing flight passengers by 46 million, roughly the same as cancelling all departing flights from Heathrow
  • Or all UK households having 1.5 beef, lamb and dairy free days per week

The link to the report can be found here 

Media contact:

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415

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.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies four percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator. It is also where Drax is piloting the 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.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.

Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.

Customers: 

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com

Drax responds to Government progress on electricity storage investment framework

Drax is progressing plans to expand its existing Cruachan pumped storage facility in Scotland through the construction of a new 600 MW plant. Built adjacent to the existing underground facility, the new plant would effectively more than double the site’s total generation capacity to over 1 GW.

The proposal received development consent from the Scottish Government through the Section 36 process in July 2023. Scotland’s First Minister, Humza Yousaf, welcomed the initiative during a visit to Cruachan last year. Mr Yousaf said the expansion would “strengthen our energy security by providing much needed resilience in the system” and be “a real boost to the Scottish economy.”

Despite their critical role in decarbonisation, the existing lack of a suitable investment framework means it is challenging to secure private investment for projects such as new-build pumped storage hydro plants. No new plants of this kind have been built in the UK since 1984.

Growing the UK’s pumped storage hydro capacity is an important factor in enabling more wind and solar power to come online. Pumped storage plants act like giant water batteries by using reversible turbines to pump water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir, which stores excess power from sources such as wind farms when supply outstrips demand. These same turbines are then reversed to bring the stored water back through the plant’s turbines to generate power when the country needs it.

Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Scottish Assets Director, said:

“This is a big step towards making a new generation of pumped storage hydro plants a reality. These new plants would enhance UK national energy security and play a significant role in the fight against climate change.

“Pumped storage stabilises the electricity system, helping to balance supply and demand through storing excess power from the National Grid. When Scotland’s wind turbines are generating more power than we need, Cruachan steps in to store the renewable electricity so it doesn’t go to waste.

“We look forward to working constructively with the UK Government and other stakeholders to help deliver a policy environment which secures investment, strengthens our energy security, and delivers for consumers. Drax is ready to move mountains to tackle climate change.”

Drax’s exciting plans for Cruachan could create and support almost 1,000 jobs during the construction phase.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Aidan Kerr, Senior Media Manager
E:   [email protected]
T: 07849090368

Editor notes

  • Drax applied for development consent from the Scottish Government under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 in May 2022, with the application granted in July 2023.
  • A report by KPMG for Drax found that a Cap and Floor regime was the standout solution to unlock private investment in the technology while incentivising system needs to be met efficiently.
  • No investment decision has yet been taken by Drax and construction remains subject to an appropriate regulatory framework among other considerations.

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.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. 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 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.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 19 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.

Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.

Customers: 

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com

Drax rings in 2024 with festive ‘Happy New Year’ projection

Drax has transformed Drax Power Station into the UK’s largest single site generator of renewable power, having converted four of its generating units to use sustainable biomass. Drax now produces 11% of Britain’s renewable electricity – enough for millions of homes and businesses. Recently published research by Oxford Economics found the power station contributed £358m to the economy of Yorkshire and the Humber, with 2,580 jobs supported by the plant in the region. 

Bruce Heppenstall, Plant Director, Drax Power Station, said:

“On behalf of Drax, I’d like to wish everyone a happy and safe start to the new year.”  

“Drax Power Station has undergone tremendous transformation since first opening its doors in 1973. We welcome the start of 2024, which will mark a significant milestone for us as we celebrate 50 years of Drax Power Station and its remarkable journey to becoming the largest single site renewable generator in the UK.” 

Drax has ambitious plans for Drax Power Station in coming years, including plans to deliver bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) on two of the existing generating units.  The development of BECCS at the Selby plant could see up to 10,000 jobs supported at the project’s peak, creating new skills and helping position the UK and the Humber as a world leader in carbon removal technology. 

Once operational BECCS at Drax will be able to permanently remove 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, helping the UK reach both its 2035 emissions and net zero targets. 

The ‘Happy New Year’ message will be visible from 5pm on the 31st of December 2023 through midnight on the 1st of January 2024.  

ENDS 

Media contacts: 

Chris Mostyn
Head of Media and PR
E: [email protected]
T: 07548 838896 

Photo Caption:  

  • A festive ‘Happy New Year’ greeting projected onto a cooling tower at Drax Power Station in Selby, UK  

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.  

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com 

For more information visit www.drax.com 

Families enjoy festive fun at Drax’s Skylark Centre and Drax donates over £11,000 to charities

Children got the chance to visit the magical Christmas grotto and meet Santa Claus. They also had opportunities to get photos with Santa’s sleigh and participate in festive arts and crafts activities.

Channelling the spirit of the holiday season, Santa generously asked that his appearance fee of £1,000 was donated to Hull Women’s Aid, who provide support to vulnerable women, children and young people.

Alongside the Christmas event, Drax announced a combined donation of £11,350 to charities including Mind, Shelter, Air Ambulance UK and Macmillan.

Instead of a Christmas party Drax’s UK employees are offered a festive hamper or the option to donate its equivalent value to one of these selected charities.

Shona King, Drax Group Head of Community, said:

“The annual event at the Skylark centre is one of our favourite times of year at Drax, it was fantastic to see 800 people local to Drax Power Station having fun and getting into the festive spirit.

“We also want to say a big thank you to Santa, for both the time he took out of his busy schedule to meet hundreds of children at the event and for donating his fee to Hull Women’s Aid, an organisation who does such vital work.

“Charitable giving sits at the heart of what we do at Drax and we are delighted that hundreds of employees decided to donate to one of these four charities, who make a meaningful difference to communities throughout the UK, instead of receiving a Christmas hamper.”

The hamper donations follow on from the £110,000 Drax has provided to foodbanks that serve the communities in and around the company’s global sites in countries including England, Scotland, Canada and the USA.

ENDS 

Media contacts:

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415 

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.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

To find out more information about the Drax Foundation go to the website www.drax.com/community

Drax Foundation donates £225,000 to support STEM education and community initiatives in England

The projects funded support education and skills development in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM), as well as those that improve green spaces and enhance biodiversity within local communities. 

The award is part of nearly £1m that the Drax Foundation has donated globally in this funding round, across the UK and North America.   

The Foundation prioritises support for organisations that deliver programmes for under-served and under-represented groups, advance gender equality and support indigenous communities. 100% of its UK funding is for programmes that benefit underserved groups. 

Shona King, Drax Group Head of Community, said:  

“Drax Foundation is committed to giving back to the communities where we operate. We are delighted to share that our second round of grants, totaling £225,000, will benefit six projects in England. These include charities doing vital work to help school children build their STEM skills and others which improve green spaces and biodiversity for local people to enjoy.”  

Pete Tighe, Partnership and Development Manager at CatZero, said,  

“The CatZero team are proud to be delivering their groundbreaking employability programme early in 2024 generously funded and supported by the Drax Foundation. 

“We cannot thank the Drax team enough for their support and enthusiasm towards the work we undertake. The programme will offer 14 young adults from Goole the opportunity to undertake challenging and motivational activities, qualifications, employability skills and a unique sailing voyage on our 72’ Challenge yacht, “CatZero”. This will be a truly life changing experience.”

The organisations in England who were awarded funding, include: 

  • CatZero: Operates a personal development programme which supports economically inactive or unemployed young people to develop their skills. Drax Foundation’s funding will help the project engage 14 individuals aged 18+ and help them overcome barriers to employment.  
  • Eden-Rose Coppice: The ECO Garden Charity in Ipswich delivers STEM programmes that highlight the connection between nature, mental health and gender equity. The Foundation’s funding will revitalise a neglected town centre woodland and provide over 740 people with STEM education opportunities.   
  • Enthuse – STEM Learning: A UK not-for-profit with a vision to deliver world-leading STEM education for every young person. Drax Foundation’s donation will facilitate partnerships in disadvantaged communities, providing STEM skills training for 12,800 young people.  
  • Friends of the Lower Derwent Valley: Situated close to North Yorkshire’s Drax Power Station, this charity oversees the ‘Nature Recovery – It’s in Our Hands’ project which involves community-led conservation and nature-based STEM education for children and adults. The new funding will enable the charity to engage 500 young people, including local school children, to get closer to the natural world and build their employability skills.  
  • HETA: The Yorkshire-based charity supports apprentice engineers in the Humber. They will use the Foundation’s funding to improve the practical and employability skills of 144 apprentices.   
  • Teach First: A charity with a mission to end educational inequality in the UK. Drax’s donation will help recruit 37 STEM trainee teachers who will be able to support over 4,600 pupils. 

Organisations and initiatives that meet Drax’s funding and selection criteria are encouraged to visit www.drax.com/community to learn more about the Foundation and submit an initial expression of interest. The Foundation is already accepting applications for 2024’s first round of funding. 

The Drax Foundation is a donor advised fund administered by the Charities Trust (an independently registered charity with the UK Charity Commission, charity no. 327489 

ENDS

Media contacts:    

Nicolas Morales
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07756289343

Editor’s Notes:  

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.  

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com 

Power generation: 

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. 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 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.   

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets. 

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year. 

Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.  

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.   

Customers:   

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.  

To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com