This week a £50 million initiative was begun by Britain’s largest coal-fired power station in an attempt to replace 10 per cent of its coal-use with 1.5 million tonnes of biomass per year.
Drax of North Yorkshire, which currently produces seven per cent of the UK’s electricity, is to build a new plant which will prepare ground-up wood, grasses and hemp to be co-fired with the coal. It is hoped the development, in association with global power generator Alstom, will reduce the company’s carbon dioxide emissions by two million tonnes a year. This represents the equivalent output of 500 wind turbines.
Chief executive of Drax, Dorothy Thompson, said: “We are only too well aware of the need to tackle climate change and we firmly believe that we are part of the solution. We have a role to play in the transition towards a low carbon economy whilst delivering reliable supplies of electricity.”
Building will begin on the new plant later this year with the first phase of the scheme to be completed by the end of 2009. Drax has pledged by 2011 to reduce their CO2 output levels by 15 per cent.