‘Sustainable biomass’ doesn’t make any sense

Drax Power Station

There have been some mixed messages regarding the Drax bio-mass plant in Yorkshire. The Guardian recently reported the business and energy secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng commenting that ‘importing wood to burn in Drax power station was not sustainable and doesn’t make any sense.

’More publicly, Kwarteng is actively promoting ‘sustainable biomass’, when he recently tweeted, ‘Sustainable biomass powers 4m homes – a critical part of our energy mix. Today’s plans will kick-start a new industry in the UK: bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Clean, affordable energy – and thousands of jobs.’

In 2021, Drax’s own annual report revealed that they had earned £893 million in government subsidies, or tax-payer money, for burning biomass. Over the last decade, the UK Government has given Drax £5.6 billion in subsidies.

In the July document ‘York and North Yorkshire Routemap to Carbon Negative’, the council revealed that they would continue to invest significantly in Drax

‘As one of the few areas within the UK which has the potential to go beyond net zero, York and North Yorkshire can sit at the heart of the UK’s decarbonisation plans and create significant economic opportunities. We can build on the region’s existing industry strengths, including: · Drax – significant investment in Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) and associated supply chain opportunities.’

It appears simply that funding is delayed for projects that reduce carbon emissions such as electric vehicle infrastructure, while investments continue in power plants which are ‘not sustainable’.


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