Drax adds to UK Government's pledge to bring an end to coal power

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 9 Apr 2018

Drax Group, owner of the largest power station in western Europe, has signed up to the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a global coalition of counties, states, cities and businesses committed to ending coal generation.

The company, which has already upgraded half of its power station to use sustainable wood pellets instead of coal, has signed up to the UK-Canadian initiative which seeks to end the use of the fossil fuel by 2030 in developed countries.  

Britain is already on the march, with Government setting a 2025 deadline.

Drax, which has transformed its reliance on Port of Immingham from coal to biomass, with ABP investing £130 million to create the world’s largest reception facilities, had its involvement in the initiative announced by Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry MP, at the Bloomberg Future of Energy Summit in New York. 

Speaking at the event last night, she said: “The UK leads the world in tackling climate change – we have reduced emissions by more than 40 per cent since 1990. By phasing out traditional coal power, we are not only taking active steps to tackle climate change, we are also protecting the air we breathe by reducing harmful pollution. The Powering Past Coal Alliance sends a clear signal that the time for unabated coal fired electricity has well and truly passed.”

In the UK there has already been a dramatic fall in power generation from coal – an 84% reduction in the last five years, and a major shift towards lower carbon technologies. Friday saw the country have its second coal-free 24-hour period since 1882.

COMMITMENT: Will Gardiner.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group chief executive, said: “Unabated coal does not have a long term role to play in our low carbon future. The Government made it very clear earlier this year that it wants the UK’s power sector to be coal free in 2025 – and we will achieve that, and possibly even beat it.”

“We’re exploring options for repowering our remaining coal units to use sustainable biomass and gas which we believe could help us to become coal free even earlier than the 2025 deadline.”

Drax Power Station has transformed itself to become the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. Now 65 per cent of the power it produces is renewable – enough for four million households.  

It will convert a fourth generating unit from coal to biomass later this year using a low cost solution developed by its world class engineers. 

This will leave just two remaining coal generating units which it plans to replace with up to 3.6GW of gas power as well as 200MW of battery storage.

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