Drax exit a blow

Drax’s exit from carbon capture is a body blow to low-carbon energy

Energy workers’ union Prospect has warned that Drax’s decision to pull out of a £1bn carbon capture project will be a “body blow to low-carbon energy generation for the UK”.

Prospect deputy general secretary Garry Graham said: “Drax’s decision is the result of fragmented and incoherent government policy which is having a chilling effect on investors’ confidence.

“Even those close to government have expressed concern about the fact that it is making unilateral decisions, with no consultation or forewarning.

“Since the election support for wind and solar power has been cut, the Green Deal has been terminated and government has withdrawn support for renewable energy projects.

“We have also seen a £3.9bn carbon tax (the Climate Change Levy) on renewables that emit no net carbon – a step that even Lord Stern described as “potty”.

“We need a coherent strategy and a clear map of how we transition to low-carbon generation, keep the lights on and meet the needs of consumers and businesses.

“As part of that, investors need stability and confidence. Thermal generation will continue to make a significant contribution to our energy mix for decades to come, and carbon capture is a key component in meeting our climate change responsibilities.”

Echoing the concerns expressed by the Confederation of British Industry earlier this week, Prospect is calling on the government to hold an energy summit to bring together industry, unions, policy makers and politicians to develop a coherent strategy which will meet our energy capacity needs for the future and ensure security of supply.

For further information contact:

Garry Graham  020 7902 6678 (w)   07713 511703 (m)   garry.graham@prospect.org.uk (e)

Katherine Beirne  020 7902 6625 (w)  07753 933174 (m)  katherine.beirne@prospect.org.uk