A coalition of industry, power and oil and gas firms in the U.K. are collaborating on a net-zero industrial cluster that they believe will establish a template for any country seeking a carbon-neutral economy. Earlier this year, the U.K. became the first major economy to set a target of net zero by 2050. But concrete proposals on how the country could get there are few and far between, with Brexit and (yet) another election dominating the political agenda. In the meantime, the private sector is busy making its own plans, and the most advanced proposal so far was presented earlier this month. Enter Drax. The company used to be best known for running the Drax Power Station, a 4-gigawatt coal-fired plant in the north of England. Today 2.6 gigawatts have been converted to biomass. The Drax Group has a spinoff in the U.S. producing wood pellets, pumped hydro and a pipeline of gas power-plant developments. This mixed-fuel power complex on England’s east coast is at the heart of an early proposal to send the U.K. on its way toward a net-zero economy. Its biomass generators will be connected to carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology. Meanwhile, National Grid, which runs the U.K. power transmission network and gas distribution grid, will create a regional CO2 network offering industry and petrochemical complexes down the Humber River the chance to feed into the pipe. At that point, Norwegian oil and gas major Equinor gets involved, providing a long-term home for that CO2 in the North Sea. In tandem, the negative-emissions electricity at Drax will create hydrogen that will be distributed down the Humber industrial cluster via a new network to be developed by National Grid.
GTM 19th Nov 2019 read more »