Drax pulls out of £1bn UK carbon capture project 

Posted: September 25, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government
Tags: ,

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) [credit: cnet.com]

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) [credit: cnet.com]

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.

Source: Drax pulls out of £1bn carbon capture project – BBC News

  1. ivan says:

    It sounds as if the engineers got involved at last. CCS will never be economical, besides which it is totally unnecessary. Why stick plant food underground where the plants can’t get at it?

  2. PeterMG says:

    CCS does not work and will never work as it takes too much energy to scrub the CO2 out. If these Exec’s pretend they don’t know this then they are liars. Just like the VW execs knew they had a cheat devise on their car to defeat US emissions. By the way other companies have been caught out doing the same thing.

  3. CCS will never become effective and affordable. Too complex, too dangerous and too energy inefficient. Given enough subsidy and any corrupt company will get involved. Drax should get back to what it was good at – generating cheap baseload electricity using coal.

  4. oldbrew says:

    The world’s only operational CCS plant is small, relies heavily on subsidies and recovers some of its high costs by selling its captured CO2 to – wait for it – the oil industry, so they can extract more oil from old wells. ‘Farce’ doesn’t cover it.

    ‘Is the Boundary Dam CCS plant in Canada really a success story?’

    The report notes: ‘without federal funding, Boundary Dam Unit 3 would have just been shut down as planned in mid-2013’. [the CCS facility was a conversion of an old plant]

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    You can not repeal the laws of physics.

    All government mandated projects that can NEVER become economical should be scrapped.
    We don’t need them. ..pg

  6. Fanakapan says:

    Hmmmm, I’m thinking that if EnergyCo execs have to start thinking in terms of operating a regular business, rather than some vacuum for boodndoggle subsidy, more than a few of them will be shown to be wanting 🙂

  7. Kon Dealer says:

    Drax chief executive Dorothy Thompson said it was a very sad decision and they thought the project still had a lot of potential for sucking subsidies out of the pockets of those who could least afford it.

  8. J Martin says:

    Perhaps to be followed by subsidy cuts for biomass and we might also see Drax’s wood chip subsidy generating device given the chop.

  9. Anything is possible says:

    Possibly the best CCS system are those things we call trees. Drax burn trees.

  10. hunter says:

    Once again skeptics were right. CCS is a non-starter of great expense and hype.