Drax hit with a double environmental protest 

Posted: April 26, 2018 by oldbrew in Emissions, Energy, News
Tags: , ,

Biomass on the move [image credit: Drax]

Converting tree matter to wood pellets and transporting it thousands of miles are also energy-intensive processes. But non-solutions like part-time unpredictable wind turbines can never be an adequate alternative either.

Protestors claim biomass can be as bad as or worse for the environment than coal and say it shouldn’t be classed as renewable energy, reports Energy Live News.

Drax has been hit by a double environmental protest today at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in York and at Peel Port in Liverpool, where it receives its wooden biomass fuel pellets.

The owner of the formerly coal-fired Drax Power Station in Yorkshire, which now runs 70% on imported biomass, was targeted by environmentalists that believe its new fuel source can be as as bad as or worse for the environment than coal and say it shouldn’t be classed as renewable energy.

The demonstrators claim Drax uses public money through subsidies and contributes to climate change rather than mitigating it.

The protests were organised by groups including Biofuelwatch, the Coal Action Network and Liverpool Earth First.

Natalie Bennett, former Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said: “Drax is a textbook case of how not to do electricity generation.

We are subsidising at significant cost a technology that relies on environmental destruction, of American forests being turned into fuel that is shipped halfway around the world, when we should be looking to solar, wind and tidal power, where the ‘fuel’ is free and its use genuinely environmentally friendly – plus the great Cinderella of energy policy, energy efficiency.”

Continued here.

  1. pochas94 says:

    Perhaps the environmentalists can supply enough wind power to replace the wood chips?

  2. oldbrew says:

    This has all been raised before…

    £450m in green subsidies to burn wood pellets at Drax
    Written by The Energy Advocate on February 27, 2017

    A leading British think tank, Chatham House, has today warned that the UK is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on burning American wood pellets in biomass generators – and that the practice causes more pollution than the coal it replaced.

    The UK imported 7.5 million tonnes of wood pellets last year, mostly from across the Atlantic, and most were burned in the Drax power plant.

    Britain is the EU’s largest importer of wood pellets and Drax is Britain’s largest power plant.

    – – –
    Wood pellets cost more to produce than other wood-based fuels: the process is more energy intensive and requires a high capital investment in plant and machinery.


    From the same Scottish website (usewoodfuelscotland):
    If the 2020 Scottish renewable heat target is going to be met (11% of non-electrical heat demand from renewable sources) then 6,420GWh of renewable heat output are needed by that date. The Government recognise that this target remains challenging.

    If the biomass heat sector constitutes the same proportion of our renewable heat in 2020 as now and we meet the 11% target; then we calculate an additional 2,000GWh of biomass output must be provided by 2020. Nationally that means 768MW of new biomass capacity must be added, representing hundreds of millions of pounds of capital investment and a massive growth in the fuel supply chain.

  3. ivan says:

    We can’t really blame Drax for this. What do you do when your business is being hammered by very unfair government mandated and subsidised competition – you join the bandwagon if possible. .

    The people responsible are the idiot politicians that followed the ‘sky is falling’ mantra of the church of climatology, the environmentalist organisation member the wrote the Climate Change Act and the politicians that voted it into law. Once that was up and running the skewed energy policy had to follow to the detriment of all electricity consumers and base load energy suppliers.

    Unfortunately those protesting have drunk the koolade provided by the ignorant academics that have their unsupported, biased ramblings published in the Conversation. These are the academics that are supposedly teaching the future generations so is it any wonder that the future looks so bleak.

    It shouldn’t be all doom and gloom, all it requires is a sensible energy policy, one in which there are no subsidies to producers and the producers have to guarantee the amount of energy they produce per month, green taxes are removed totally and there is no bias towards who supplies the energy – they just have to supply it as contracted.

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    Oh, that’s a competitive market economy with contract law and without government intervention… We had that once. Worked rather well… Electricity was about 1/3 of what I now pay (in California) and power was reliable 24 x 7 x 365 other than minor local outages when someone decided to play car-tag with a power pole or once very few years in a very bad storm when trees would try flying into power lines…

    Ah, the good old days of cheap, reliable electricity…

    (no, no happy face nor /sarc; as that’s all exactly what it was like as I grew up here from about the ’50s to the ’80s. Somewhere in the ’70s the rot started, but it didn’t become crippling until the ’90s. That’s when the Dimocrats and Governor Gray “Out” Davis decided to play with the power generation and delivery systems and we got regular rolling blackouts and Grayouts… then we got a new “Republican” Governor (Aaaaanold) and things stabilized again for a decade or so.)

  5. […] supposed to believe that coal-hungry Germany and forest-clearing biomass-burning Britain are impressively ‘green’. Their obsessive renewables bias has made new gas-fired power […]