Bioenergy and CCS could help the UK save more than £4.5bn over the coming decade

Achieving the net zero target without BECCS would cost the UK an additional £15 billion, according to a new report

The Big Zero report

The deployment of bioenergy and carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology at Drax Power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, could help the UK save more than £4.5 billion over the coming decade, rising to £5 billion by 2050.

That’s according to a new independent analysis by energy consultancy Baringa, which estimates without BECCS at Drax Power Station the energy system would be subject to additional costs of around £4.5 billion to achieve the government’s fifth carbon budget.

The report suggests the UK’s net zero target could cost the country £15 billion more to achieve it without deploying the ‘negative emissions’ technology.

The findings of the report note that scenario could also lead to an estimated additional annual cost of £17 for every household.

Drax Power Station is currently exploring the option of adding carbon capture and storage equipment to its biomass-fired generating units.

The plan is to develop two BECCS units by 2030, aiming to deliver 40% of the negative emissions the Climate Change Committee had previously indicated will be needed in 2050 for the UK to reach net zero.

The company predicts the resulting plant could produce at least eight million tonnes of negative carbon dioxide emissions every year, as well as generating renewable electricity.

Drax plans to make a final investment decision on its BECCS investment in the first quarter of 2024.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “Innovative green technologies like BECCS can save the UK billions of pounds in achieving our legally binding climate targets, whilst removing millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and supporting tens of thousands of jobs.”

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