Selby-based Drax has today reported a near-doubling of profits.

The company joins others in the energy sector reporting bumper profits during the cost-of-living crisis.

Figures released today show the power generator made £731m in the last 12 months, up 84% on the previous year, higher than analyst expectations of £699m.

This compares with recent profit totals from Shell (£32.2bn), BP (£23bn), EDF (£1.1bn) and Centrica (£3.3bn).

The company, which operates the UK’s largest power plant, generates 7% of the UK’s overall energy supplies, including 11% of renewables, again, the highest share of any supplier.

In recent decades Drax has received some £6bn in green energy subsidies from UK taxpayers and is due to receive £800m this year.

The company has credited its performance on a growth of imported pellets from North America to fuel its biomass operations at Drax, near Selby.

Controversially, the company has faced criticism over this, with the BBC’s Panorama also accusing the company of chopping down primary forests- something Drax denied.

Nonetheless, it is expanding its pellet operations across the Atlantic.

At present, Drax has now-closed coal plant on standby to help the UK keep the lights on should weather and generation conditions demand this.

The company also faces a pay dispute with its workers.

It is also pressing ahead with its multi-billion carbon capture scheme.

Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group, said: “Drax delivered a strong performance in 2022, and played a significant role in ensuring security of supply during a challenging year for the UK’s energy system.

“Our renewable generation – biomass, hydro and pumped storage – are a major source of power in the UK and during periods of peak demand when there was low wind and solar power, these assets collectively supplied up to 70% of the UK’s renewable power in certain periods.

“We believe that BECCS can become a world-leading solution for large-scale high-quality carbon removals and we are seeing increasing global policy support for its delivery.

“Drax stands ready to invest billions of pounds in the development of this technology and, following the introduction of the US Inflation Reduction Act, we are increasingly excited about the opportunities to deploy BECCS in the US. In response, the UK Government should accelerate its policy support for BECCS to make the UK a world leader in carbon removals, while attracting investment and delivering its net zero targets.

He added: “Drax is a growing international business with strong cash returns which we are reinvesting to produce more renewable energy and deliver carbon removals while reducing our own carbon emissions. We aim to be at the heart of the energy transition, creating the jobs, renewable power and large-scale carbon removals that the world needs.”