UK contributes to $500mn South African energy storage project
As part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s African visit, the UK has announced it will contribute $73mn (£56mn) to a South African energy storage fund.
The fund, which is to be worth $500mn as a whole, will help secure renewable power in South Africa by developing battery technology to store energy.
The money has been offered through the Clean Technology Fund, which provide funding for clean technology projects in developing countries with a focus on developing low-carbon solutions and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions. The UK is the top contributor to the global fund, followed by the US and Japan.
The storage project is being developed by the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the South African government.
The UK government said in a statement: “This project, the first of its kind in the region, will use an innovative technology to transform the country’s energy system, supporting South Africa’s long-term commitment to decreasing carbon emissions by developing bold, new renewable technologies.”
May’s three-day visit took place this week in the hope of building relations with countries in Africa prior to the United Kingdom’s exit of the European Union. In addition to South Africa, the Prime Minister also visited Nigeria and Kenya.
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.