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Drax Power Station’s energy boost
A NORTH Yorkshire power station has welcomed new Government rules on sustainable energy.
From April 2015, the biomass industry will be required to demonstrate its fuel is sustainable or lose financial support from the Government, under new terms announced this month.
The new criteria, which aim to ensure sustainable forest management, are based on sustainable harvesting rates, biodiversity protection and rights for indigenous populations.
Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “The coalition is committed to delivering clean, affordable and secure energy for consumers.
“This includes an important role for biomass power as part of the UK’s energy mix.
“The new criteria will provide the necessary investor certainty and, crucially, ensure that the biomass is delivered in a transparent and sustainable way.”
Dorothy Thompson, chief executive of Drax Power Station, near Selby, said the station, which is in the process of converting to a mainly biomass-fuelled energy production plant, welcomed the news.
She said: “Drax welcomes publication of these sustainability criteria. We have had our own criteria in place since 2008, and have long advocated the need for mandatory criteria, which we hope to see harmonised across the EU in time.
“Mandatory criteria are the best way to ensure that all the biomass used in electricity generation is demonstrably sustainable and delivers major carbon savings relative to fossil fuels.”
Plans to convert three of the six generating units at Drax are well under way, with the first converted at the beginning of April. The second unit will follow next year and the third in or before 2016.
Its generating capacity of 3,960 megawatts is the highest of any power station in the United Kingdom and western Europe, providing about seven per cent of the UK’s electricity supply.
Because of its large size it is also the UK’s single largest emitter of carbon dioxide, hence its attempt to convert to biomass-fuelled energy production.
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