What is BECCS and what can it do?
Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, known as BECCS, is the process of capturing and permanently removing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere, combined with sustainable biomass energy generation.
We have invested millions to successfully trial this technology at Drax Power Station in Selby, and we are now ready to go further to scale up this crucial climate-saving technology.
The BECCS at Drax project needs your support to:
- Remove 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, during the first phase of BECCS at Drax alone
- Deliver the UK’s net zero target at a cost of £26bn less than alternative options – saving money for HM Treasury, billpayers and hardworking families across the country
- Create and support over 10,000 green jobs and make the Humber a hub for green skills and investment
- Develop the supply chain surrounding a world-leading zero-carbon cluster to deliver a £3.2 billion economic boost to the wider economy
- Help develop a new bioenergy industry here in the UK, working with the NFU and British farmers
- Enable the UK to export negative emissions technology internationally
- Show global leadership investing in green technology
Without BECCS at Drax, getting to net zero will cost the UK over £26bn more
BECCS at Drax: Getting the UK to net zero
The science is clear – the world needs to reduce and remove carbon from the atmosphere now to stop the climate crisis.
- Here at Drax, we’ve led the transition to clean energy for over a decade – we converted the UK’s biggest coal fired power station to sustainable biomass, protecting thousands of jobs and reducing emissions by 90%.
- Now we’re ready to go further. Installing BECCS technology on our existing biomass power generating units at Drax Power Station will permanently remove 8 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year, helping the UK reach legally-binding climate targets.
- Without BECCS technology, according to independent research by energy specialists Baringa, reaching net zero will cost the UK an additional £75bn, which means an extra £85 a year per household for hardworking families across the country.
“Negative emissions technologies are going to play a major role in helping the world decarbonise and businesses are advancing their development at pace. But unless urgent action is taken to support their deployment, we’re on track to miss vital climate targets.”
Tony Danker, Director General of the CBI, a founding member of the Coalition for Negative Emissions
BECCS at Drax will develop world-class green jobs and skills across the Humber, to help the region thrive for generations to come
Today, Drax is proud to support 5,700 supply chain jobs in the North and generate £600m for the region’s economy. Scaling up BECCS is an opportunity to go even further.
- It will create a new, world-leading green industry for Yorkshire and the Humber, by creating and protecting over 10,000 green jobs.
- We are committed to ensuring that local people living close to our operations are equipped with the skills to take advantage of new green job opportunities, we’re working with local partners such as Selby College to upskill local people and train our workforce of the future in the latest technology.
- We are committed to ensuring that companies across the UK – including the smallest SMEs, can benefit from this technology. During the construction phase, we will spend £100millions across our supply chain – with an ambition that 80% of construction spend will go to UK companies1. This will allow companies across the Humber and beyond to become part of our supply chain, and can ultimately capitalise on this crucial project to grow their business and expertise.
1: This 80% ambition excludes carbon capture and storage technology, where we have signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). The ambition includes all other products and services for delivering BECCS including steel, pipes, heat pumps, electricals, insulation, and other equipment required to deliver this multi million pound project.
BECCS at Drax will create and protect over 10,000 jobs in the Humber and across the UK
"Drax gives great opportunities to people around here. I’ve been at the power station for 29 years, I’ve done a different job every 4 or 5 years, I’ve worked in every aspect of it, I’ve had international travel and assignments.”
Steve Drayton, Head of Innovation
BECCS at Drax will lead the world in tackling climate change
The opportunity for the UK to lead the world in this climate-saving technology cannot be taken for granted.
- Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the US are all piloting and developing their own BECCS projects to use negative emissions to reach their own climate goals.
- If the UK acts now to supports the delivery of BECCS at Drax in the 2020s, we can build a domestic supply chain in this cutting edge technology to make the UK a global pioneer, and lead the world in developing this planet-saving solution which can then be exported internationally.
In the year of COP26, as the world looks to the UK as a climate leader, Government support for BECCS at Drax can show that the UK is acting without delay to prioritise decarbonisation; keep the costs of net zero down for hardworking families; and back new technology pioneered here in the Humber which can make the UK a leader in climate-saving technology.