Backing Drax will ensure the Government hits net zero targets, protects UK energy security, regenerates the Humber and leads the world in carbon capture technology

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Responding to today’s Budget, renewable energy company Drax has called on the UK Government to provide a firm commitment to its bioenergy with carbon capture and storage technology (BECCS) in the North of England as soon as possible.

Drax’s BECCS project will be instrumental in delivering UK security of supply, net zero and levelling-up and will be critical to providing certainty as to the future of Drax Power Station.

Drax welcomes the announcement in the Budget of the investment in domestic carbon capture and looks forward to more detail being provided at the end of March.

Through its use of sustainable biomass Drax Power Station already provides millions of homes and businesses across the UK with secure, renewable power and when delivered, BECCS at Drax will be the largest carbon removals project in the world, playing a critical role in enabling the Government to hit its challenging and legally binding net zero commitments. The construction and operation of the project will create and support up to 10,000 jobs, add £700m to UK GDP and ensure that the country can pioneer BECCS at scale, right in the heart of Yorkshire.

Whilst today’s Budget referenced plans to invest billions in carbon capture and storage, Government has not yet provided the clear, tangible support for BECCS which Drax needs to progress development of the £2bn project.Drax’s North Yorkshire power station could deliver carbon removals at scale from 2027, while generating secure, renewable and affordable electricity.

Commenting on today’s Budget, Will Gardiner, Chief Executive Officer, Drax Group said:

“The UK Government has in Yorkshire a clear opportunity to turn this country into the world leader in carbon removals technology. Whilst we welcome the Government’s ambition to invest billions in carbon capture and storage, we need them to provide us with a firm commitment to BECCS before we invest £2bn in this UK project.

“It is critical that in the planned announcement at the end of the month Government outlines further support for BECCS because this project will be instrumental in delivering security of supply, net zero and levelling-up and providing certainty as to the future of Drax Power Station.

“In order for the UK to be at the forefront of the green arms race, Government must quickly lay out a detailed, timed and funded plan which offers renewable energy companies like Drax the confidence to continue to invest in this country. Over recent months international interest in pioneering BECCS has grown and we are increasingly excited about the opportunities to deploy BECCS in the US and are currently screening over 10 potential new projects there.”

Earlier this month, MPs and business leaders from across the North of England wrote to the Prime Minister and Chancellor and urged them to “show support for scaling up carbon capture solutions in our region” and commit to the East Coast Cluster, including the opportunity to announce BECCS at Drax as a Track 1 project.

A recent poll run by Focaldata* also revealed that 77% of voters across Yorkshire and the Humber want the Government to back Drax’s plans for BECCS at Drax Power Station.

The poll also showed over 80% of local voters believe it is important that the Government delivers on its legal obligation to make the UK economy net zero by 2050 – with over a third of people saying this task is vital.

Source: Drax