|19 December 2016|

UK

The European Commission has rubber stamped a multi-million pound investment package which will help a UK power station move to burning wood pellets rather than coal.

Drax Power Station has been given European Commission (EC) approval to be fully powered by sustainable biomass. The EC’s decision gives approval to the UK government, which wants  to end coal-fired generation by 2025, and its support for the upgrade of Drax power station from coal to biomass, and marks the culmination of a £650 million investment.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, said: “Drax now leads the world in biomass technology – three million households are powered with renewable energy generated by Drax and we’re the largest carbon saving project in Europe.

“We have demonstrated how to reinvent a coal-fired power station, using an existing asset, so there are no hidden costs to the Grid and it is quick to achieve. This is a testament to the expertise and ingenuity of our engineering team and everyone at the power station.”

He insists what has been achieved to date at Drax demonstrated the power station could help switch from coal in an affordable way for bill payers sooner than the 2025 deadline.

“The energy challenge facing the UK is how to replace the contribution currently made by coal. Biomass technology is proven, ready to go and ideally placed to help the country transform to a low carbon future with reliable, secure and affordable renewable power.”

He added: “With the right support from the government, we could upgrade the remainder of the power station to run solely on biomass and provide up to eight per cent of the UK’s total electricity from sustainable sources.”