Dec 5, 2016

Finland could be the first country to totally ban coal

2 min
As part of a new energy and climate strategy, the government is considering banning the burning of coal for energy by 2030. This means that Finland c...

As part of a new energy and climate strategy, the government is considering banning the burning of coal for energy by 2030. This means that Finland could be the first country to totally ban this kind of energy production.

The groundwork has already been done and coal use has been steadily declining in Finland since 2011. In 2012 the nation invested heavily in renewable energy, leading to a near doubling of wind power capacity the following year. It also poured a further €80 million into renewables back in February.

All Nordic energy prices, except for coal, have been dropping steadily since 2010 and as a result of these changes, plenty of coal power-plants have been closed. At the moment coal provides just eight percent of the nation’s energy needs.

Despite the favourable circumstances, this would still be a radical move if Finland became the first country to ban coal use for energy. It’s not the only country looking at its coal consumption, however, several others– including the UK, Austria and the Netherlands – have announced plans to phase coal out within 10 or 15 years.

Despite these plans to phase out coal, Finland remains the only one planning to do it completely. For example, Canada’s plan still permits provinces to carry on using coal beyond this date provided they reduce emissions with carbon capture and storage.

The plan still has to go through parliament but if all goes well then Finland could be setting a very strong example for the rest of the world.

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

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).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

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.

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