WTI Crude

Loading...

Brent Crude

Loading...

Natural Gas

Loading...

Gasoline

Loading...

Heating Oil

Loading...

Alt Text

End Of An Era: Peabody Declares Bankruptcy

Peabody Energy Corp. has declared…

Alt Text

Coal And Steel May Have Been Given A Lifeline By China

China’s central bank posted new…

Alt Text

Coal May Survive, But Its Profitability Is Dead

With the market capitalization of…

  1. Home
  2. Energy
  3. Coal
Energy Digital By

Energy Digital

Energy Digital is a leading digital media source of news and content for C-level executives focused on business and all aspects of managing the environment.…

More Info

UK's Largest Coal Power Plant to be Converted to a Biomass Plant

The U.K.'s largest coal-fired plant will become western Europe's largest clean-energy producer with the announcement of Drax Group Plc's $1 billion effort to transition from burning coal to burning wood.

“We see a key part of our future as converting from essentially a coal station to a biomass station,” Chief Executive Officer Dorothy Thompson told Bloomberg. “It will take Drax from being the largest carbon emitter by site in the U.K. to being, probably, one of the largest renewable plants in the world.”

By June, one of the site's six units will start burning wood pellets with two others to follow shortly after. Through 2017, Drax will spend up to 700 million pounds ($1.13 billion) upgrading its boilers in England—an effort that will also require ordering millions of tons of biomass from around the world and building facilities to store the fuel.

The supply chain efforts are already in motion: farmers and foresters have been hired and the utility is looking into building pellet plants in North America.

“A lot of the infrastructure and capital is already there,” Drax's Financial Director Tony Quinlan told Bloomberg. “The beauty of it is you’re taking something that exists already. You’re modifying very efficient coal-fired power stations.”

On the road to meeting European Union air-pollution rules and avoiding greenhouse-gas costs, Drax and others like RWE AG and Dong Energy are moving their coal-fired plants off fossil fuels.

Coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, generates about 41 percent of global electricity, and just under 50 percent of electricity in Britain. If all goes according to plan, four percent of the country's power will come from burning wood pellets under Drax's changes alone.

By 2016, around half of Britain's coal-fired plants are scheduled to close, with nuclear reactors to follow by 2035. Analysts see biomass playing a critical role in meeting climate-change targets and maintaining the nation's power supply as those transitions take place.

By. Carin Hall


Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News