The new funding will enable Bath-based Energy Sparks to ensure that up to 240 schools across the UK have free access to its online energy management tool, education programme and support services. This includes schools in the areas of the country where Drax Group operates: Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, East of England and Scotland.
The charity currently works with more than 1,000 UK schools to help them reduce their energy use and carbon footprint.
Shona King, Head of Community at Drax Group, said:
“We are proud that this new grant will help Energy Sparks engage many more schools and pupils across the UK in reducing their energy use and costs as well as fighting climate change. Alongside our existing grant funding for LED lighting and solar panels, we are excited to bring Energy Sparks’ energy analysis tool and education programme to more schools in and around the communities where we operate.
“It’s important to us to help children start thinking about saving energy and reducing their carbon footprint from a young age as these issues are going to be increasingly important for them in the future.”
Dr Claudia Towner, CEO and Programme Director at Energy Sparks, said:
“We are delighted to receive this funding from the Drax Foundation, it 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.”
Energy Sparks was founded in 2020 and, in the last year, through Energy Sparks’ tools, the average primary school it works with has saved at least £3,000 in energy costs and 12.8 tonnes of CO2, additionally, the average secondary school has saved at least £12,000 and 48 tonnes of CO2.
Energy Sparks’ education activities encourage pupils to learn about climate change and why reducing carbon emissions is important, investigating energy use around the school site, taking action to reduce energy use and spreading the energy saving and carbon reduction message across their wider school community.
Energy Sparks’ online tool presents bespoke analysis of the energy data with suggestions of actions the school community could take to save energy and reduce the school’s carbon emissions.
This new funding is drawn from a pot of £1.5m that Drax Foundation unveiled earlier this year for UK schools to install energy-efficient LED lights and solar panels, and deliver energy saving monitoring and education.
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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
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.
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 energy.drax.com
To find out more information about the Drax Foundation go to the website www.drax.com/community