United Kingdom – Developing bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) at Drax could save the UK energy system and consumers billions of pounds over the next decade, according to a new report.
The independent analysis by Baringa, commissioned by Drax Group, evaluates the impact of deploying BECCS at scale as part of achieving the country’s climate change targets.
The report finds that without BECCS at Drax Power Station the energy system would incur additional costs of around £4.5 billion to achieve the UK Government’s fifth carbon budget in 2028 to 2032 – making decarbonization more difficult and significantly more expensive.
Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “Innovative green technologies like BECCS can save the UK billions of pounds in achieving our legally binding climate targets, whilst removing millions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere and supporting tens of thousands of jobs.”
Not developing BECCS at Drax, or more widely across the country, will also have significant costs for the UK reaching its net zero by 2050 target. The report estimates the target will cost £15 billion more to achieve without deploying this essential negative emissions technology.
Project start in 2024
With the right investment framework from government, work to build Drax’s first two BECCS units could get underway as soon as 2024, ready to start capturing and storing millions of tonnes of CO2 a year in 2027.
Drax has already transformed its power station near Selby in North Yorkshire to become the largest decarbonization project in Europe having converted it to use sustainable biomass instead of coal. It plans to go further by using BECCS and last month kick-started the planning process.