The UK government releases 25-year Environment Plan
The UK government has announced its 25-year plan for the nation’s future environment protection.
The 151-page document features plans to create 500,000 hectares of new habitat for endangered wildlife, as well as aided farmers replenish depleted soil.
The targets also include creating a new green watchdog, improving air and water quality, and minimising greenhouse gas emissions caused by food and drink waste and per capita food waste by a fifth by 2025.
The government has also highlighted the importance of tackling plastic waste, with plans to introduce plastic-free aisles in supermarkets, enforcing the 5p plastic bag charge to smaller retailers, and banning consumer single use plastics from the government estate.
“Our Environment Plan sets out how over the 25 years we will radically reduce the waste that is choking oceans and rivers, cleanse our air of toxic pollutants and create new habits for our most precious wildlife to thrive,” reported Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.
“Through this plan we will build on our reputation as a global leader in environment protection,” Mr Gove added.
“Prime Ministerial speeches on the environment are an endangered species, so it is very welcome to hear Theresa May emphasise the crucial importance of the environment, the number of green jobs, the interdependence of economic growth and environmental progress, and the scourge of plastic waste,” commented Matthew Farrow, Executive Director of the Energy Industries Council.
“The pledge to show international leadership and to ensure Brexit does not lower green standards is already government policy but valuable to hear the PM say it herself.”
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.