Drax decision is big ‘blow’ to biomass

Drax’s decision to cancel a new biomass plant in Yorkshire could be a “significant blow” to the bioenergy sector, according to analysts at Ernst & Young. Drax said yesterday it […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Drax’s decision to cancel a new biomass plant in Yorkshire could be a “significant blow” to the bioenergy sector, according to analysts at Ernst & Young.

Drax said yesterday it would not build a dedicated biomass plant, choosing to increase the co-fired biomass operations at its existing coal plant. It blamed high costs of the new technology and said government was putting more money behind co-firing biomass.

“The announcement from Drax signals a potentially significant blow to the development of the UK bio-energy sector and the job market which would have benefitted from new employment opportunities,” said James Barrett-Miles, a director at Ernst & Young.

He added: “It also creates another obstacle for the Government and their ambitious 2020 mandatory renewable energy targets. Although the Government has shown some positive sentiment towards the biomass sector recently, as seen by the improved subsidy levels for co-firing and the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive, much more needs to be done.”

He suggested raising the level of Renewable Obligations support for dedicated biomass. It is going to be cut under current government plans.