Britain to Buy Renewable Energy from Ireland
After signing a cross-border renewable energy trading agreement Thursday, Ireland may start exporting some of its excess renewable energy, mostly wind power, to Britain over the next few years, helping it reach an ambitious target of generating 15 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020.
"Making the most of the natural renewable resource available around our islands could benefit the economies of both countries," British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey said in a statement.
Related story: World's Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Opens in UK
Talks are underway to assess the benefits and potential projects that would be involved, including a 7 billion pound scheme to build 500 to 700 wind turbines in the Midlands of Ireland to generate power for Britain. Two cable connections bind Ireland to Britain, which also has interconnectors to France and the Netherlands. Such plans, however, are subject to the creation of an inter-governmental agreement, which could take up to a year, Reuters reports.
Britain is also looking into its own potential to trade renewable energy with its neighbors, including Norway, Denmark and Belgium.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.