The Big Objection to Drax’s Climate-Choking Plans to Burn Gas
For readers not aware of Drax, it is a large coal-fired station capable of co-firing biomass and coal. Its location is near the village of Drax which is situated on the River Ouse, between Selby and Goole. While the plant has been open since 1973 with changes taking place in its structure, it is recognised as the UK’s largest single emitter of CO2 and also argued to be one of the highest emitters of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) within the European Union, although the amount of energy generated as a result is approximately 6% of the United Kingdom’s energy supply. Recently, Drax PLC has applied to the Planning Inspectorate to replace its two remaining coal-fired units with much larger ones burning fossil (natural) gas. This will, if granted, allow Drax to secure its position as the UK’s biggest fossil fuel burner for decades to come!
Drax claims on its website that this is part of their “strategy to play a vital role in changing the way energy is generated as the UK moves to a low carbon future.” The reality is that Drax made a net loss last year and switching to burning gas would allow the power station to keep operating once the government’s pledge to phase out ‘unabated coal’ by 2025 comes into force.
If this gas development goes ahead, it will tie the U.K. into the long-term burning of more fossil fuels at a time when we need to drastically reduce our carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change. It will also enable Drax to continue burning millions of tonnes of wood pellets every year, many of which come from the clear felling of biodiverse forests in the US.
If you agree that we should not allow Drax to increase our carbon emissions by burning gas and wood biomass, please help us to stop Drax’s proposed gas development by sending an objection to the Planning Inspectorate. Both individual and organisation responses are welcome and you can find out how to do so here, along with more information on Drax on the Biofuelwatch website found here. The deadline for responses is Wednesday 29 August 2018 at 11.59pm.