TENS of thousands of new jobs could be created in the region through new green energy technologies, according to a new report.

Analysis shows that scaling up bioenergy with carbon capture technology (BECCS), which Drax has proven at its North Yorkshire power station, would support almost 17,000 jobs during construction in 2028.

The report by Vivid Economics was commissioned by Drax Group, a founding member of the Zero Carbon Humber partnership, to evaluate what impact any large-scale deployment of green energy technologies would have.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said the boost to the economy would be huge.

“The technologies are ready to go, so tens of thousands of jobs could be created as early as 2024. This would deliver a real shot in the arm to communities struggling as a result of the Covid crisis.

"This could kickstart a whole new industry in the UK, enabling us to show the world what can be achieved for the environment and the economy when governments, businesses and communities work together.”

Using carbon capture technology across Drax’s four biomass units would accelerate the UK’s efforts to reach net zero by permanently removing 16 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year.

With the right policies from government, BECCS could be operational at Drax by 2027, accelerating the Humber’s efforts to become the UK’s first zero carbon industrial cluster.

Other industries across the region would tap into the same CO2 transportation and storage infrastructure.

In October, Drax was one of 12 businesses and organisations, as part of the Zero Carbon Humber Partnership, to submit a public-private sector-funded bid worth £75m to the Government to establish a CCS and hydrogen economy in the region.

As the UK’s most carbon intensive industrial region, the benefits of decarbonising the Humber would have the greatest impact on enabling the country to reach its legally binding net zero by the 2050 target.

Deploying hydrogen production at scale for fuel switching, as well as carbon capture to decarbonise gas power and other industries, alongside BECCS at Drax, could create and support as many as 49,000 jobs in the Humber region at its peak in 2027.

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “This report shows what could be achieved across the Yorkshire and Humber region and wider Northern Powerhouse by developing BECCS at Drax and hydrogen in the Humber - cutting carbon emissions, protecting jobs in existing industries and creating many more new jobs throughout the region at a critical time.

“The Humber is already spearheading the UK’s sustainable energy revolution, and through further investment in these sectors we can hope to unlock yet more economic potential for the North. Companies like Drax play a vital role in decarbonising the economy and closing the North - South divide to build back better.”

Andrew Percy MP for Brigg and Goole said: “With the development of a Zero Carbon Humber, within less than five years, this region could be at the forefront of the government’s green industrial revolution. Tens of thousands of jobs could be protected and created, supporting the North as it bounces forward from the Covid pandemic.”