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Press comment: new Drax development "is a shockingly backwards decision which will send both trees and cash up in smoke"
Jan 17, 2024

Press comment: new Drax development "is a shockingly backwards decision which will send both trees and cash up in smoke"

By EJF Staff

Responding to the news that the UK Government has approved a biomass carbon capture and storage scheme at Drax power station, Steve Trent, EJF CEO and Founder, said: “This is a shockingly backwards decision which will send both trees and cash up in smoke, with an estimated £40bn of bill payers’ money on the line. Drax already burns twice the number of trees in the New Forest every year, reported in Parliament to be 27 million annually. Even if the carbon could be captured, cutting and shipping trees to burn them in Yorkshire is never going to approach sustainability. It is a fallacy - peddled by vested interests like Drax - that biomass is needed for the UK to reach net zero. What’s more, while there is no reason to believe that this project will work as advertised, we do know it will be eye-wateringly expensive.”

“Even now, before this new set of subsidies kicks in, Drax is guaranteed an 80% higher payment for its energy per unit than from new wind farms, and received £1.66m of taxpayer money every single day in 2022. The UK’s hard-working families will pay three times for this decision - first with their tax money, then in inflated energy bills, and finally in the heatwaves and floods that this choice will worsen.”

“We urgently need to upgrade to clean energy, but deeper reliance on polluting energy sources like biomass does the precise opposite. If this government really wants to cut emissions, reduce sky-high energy bills and support good green jobs, it should reverse this decision. Unlike carbon capture, which has never worked at scale, locally owned and generated renewable energy is cheap, proven and shovel-ready. I urge this government to listen to the opposition - including its own MPs - and change course now."

ENDS

Notes to editors

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