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DRAX has launched the Biomass Carbon Calculator – a new tool to more accurately measure emissions in the supply chain, enabling the industry to identify where emissions reductions can be made and make a greater contribution to tackling climate change.

Drax is seeking views from a wide range of experts, including academics, non-governmental organisations and the biomass for energy industry in a consultation on the Biomass Carbon Calculator to ensure that the methodology is as accurate and transparent as possible so it is more effective.

Drax Group’s head of climate change, Rebecca Heaton said:

“Drax announced a world-leading ambition to become carbon negative by 2030 by pioneering the groundbreaking negative emissions technology, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). As part of this commitment to support the UK’s net zero target, Drax is also ensuring that the supply chain for the sustainable biomass pellets we use to generate renewable electricity is as low carbon as possible.

“To do that, it’s vital that Drax and the rest of the biomass industry has the clearest picture possible of emissions in the production and transportation of the pellets, by using actual supply chain data to help raise the quality of carbon accounting for biomass.

“That’s why we’re calling on academics, scientists, regulators and non-governmental organisations, as well as those in the biomass industry, to participate in the consultation to help further improve the modelling for this new calculator and create a higher industry standard for emissions reporting.”

Sawmill residues used to manufacture sustainable biomass wood pellets at LaSalle BioEnergy in Louisiana.

Biomass train enters Rail Unloading Building 2 at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire

Drax’s Biomass Carbon Calculator has already been independently reviewed against the greenhouse gas calculation methodology laid out in the Renewable Obligation, one of the main support mechanisms for large-scale renewable electricity projects in the UK, which has helped the country to decarbonise faster than any other in the world. This independent review also verified the calculator for compliance with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive II.

Following the six-week consultation, Drax will undertake further third-party verification to ensure the new calculator remains in compliance with regulatory requirements.

The creation of the Biomass Carbon Calculator is one of a number of initiatives Drax is taking to develop world-leading policies and tools to create greater clarity and transparency across the biomass industry.

It follows the creation of an Independent Advisory Board of scientists, academics and forestry experts, led by Sir John Beddington formerly the chief scientific adviser to the UK government, to ensure Drax’s biomass sourcing is in line with latest scientific research and best practice. It has found Drax’s sourcing policies are in line with the Forest Research report, which is widely considered to be the industry gold standard.

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