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Drax unveils £2bn biomass energy plan

The Drax coal power station in Yorkshire, branded by critics as the UK’s biggest polluter, is to go green by investing £2bn in three biomass power plants.

Working with Siemens, the company will develop 900MW of biomass fired renewable energy.

Biomass energy is created when forestry residues, agricultural by-products and energy crops are burnt in order to provide heat. The company says all biomass sourced, transported and consumed in its generation facilities will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to coal fired generation, will protect biodiversity, air and water quality and contribute to the social well being and economic benefit of the communities it operates in.

Drax anticipates reducing carbon emissions by 15 per cent per year before 2011 and will be responsible for supplying at least 15 per cent of the UK’s renewable power once the three plants are operational.

However this isn’t likely to get unanimous approval from proponents of green power, as the argument for burning biomass has not been proven because the burning process still releases gas into the atmosphere.

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