When push comes to shove it’s finance first, supposed green window-dressing last for energy companies, as the BBC reports.
Energy company Drax has abandoned a £1bn project to introduce carbon capture technology to cut emissions. Drax was working on the scheme to store carbon dioxide next to its plant in North Yorkshire, which is the biggest coal-fired power station in the UK.
It is halting further investment because of the government’s decision to reduce subsidies for renewable energy. The company said that due to lack of profits it had to put the business and shareholders first.
Drax chief executive Dorothy Thompson said it was a very sad decision and they thought the project still had a lot of potential. Speaking to the BBC, she said: “The most recent effect has been the government has removed a tax exemption for renewable power that is sold to industrial companies and we’re the largest generator of renewable power in the UK and this has suddenly removed a stream of income.”
“The day it was announced our share price dropped by a third and that simply reduces the amount of cash we have available for future investments.”
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has the potential to allow energy companies to keep burning fossil fuels while reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by up to 90%. Ms Thompson said dramatic changes in commodity prices had also affected the firm’s financial situation compared with two years ago.
She said the company would now be concentrating on biomass technology which she said was “the most affordable, the most reliable and the fastest move away from fossil fuels” to the energy of the future.