Drax boss wants Brexit deal that ensures secure future for UK energy

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 7 Jul 2017

THE boss of one of the country’s biggest power producers is calling on the Government to deliver a Brexit deal that would help companies “get on with the job” of providing the UK with secure, cost-effective energy.

The Chancellor has said the economy and businesses should be at the forefront of Brexit negotiations.

Andy Koss, chief executive of Drax Power – a world leader in biomass technology – is now urging Philip Hammond to ensure a deal is secured that would create certainty and confidence, enabling firms to maintain investment and protect jobs.

He said: “We now need Philip Hammond and ministers in the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to be clear on the policies that companies will operate under, especially in those sectors, including energy, where planning for the very longterm is crucial.

Biomass domes at Drax Power Station, near Selby; Chancellor Philip Hammond

“This is what will help business and industry make the investment decisions needed to support the vision for post-Brexit Britain.”

Drax Power Station, near Selby, last year produced 16 per cent of the UK’s renewable power – enough to power four million households using biomass, or compressed wood pellets – with the Humber ports of Immingham and Hull continuing to be a key part of the Drax supply chain.

Mr Koss said: “Now is the time to grasp the opportunity to develop the energy infrastructure needed for post-Brexit Britain, so we are decarbonising our economy with flexible power that maintains system security and stability.

“This will be vital in improving our prosperity and creating thousands of highly-skilled jobs, but for that to happen, we need the Government to give us the ground rules now.”

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On the issues of smart energy systems, support for renewable energy and a strategy for decarbonisation of energy, Lord Adonis, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, has said the Government should publish its plans no later than October.

Mr Koss said: “In the energy sector we want further clarity on these and other Government policy areas in order for us to get on with the job of delivering projects which will provide the country with the cost-effective, flexible and secure power supplies we need for a successful low carbon economy after Brexit.

“For example, we don’t know yet what will replace the Levy Control Framework – this was the mechanism the previous government used to control the costs of subsidies for low carbon power.

“We also need a commitment to retain the Carbon Price Floor beyond 2020 to further stimulate continued investment in clean energy, as well as more clarity around the criteria for future Contracts for Difference (CfD) – the contracts given to renewable power projects.

“Policy certainty on these three essential matters will give companies the green light to continue decarbonising and investing in renewables – without which it is difficult to see how we will get coal off the system by the Government’s deadline of 2025.

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“System support is going to be vital as coal plants close, old nuclear comes to an end and we see the continued rise of solar and wind.

“The way our energy is produced is changing dramatically – renewables records are being broken regularly.

“This is great news for reducing emissions, which the country must do under the Climate Change Act, but it is increasingly apparent that producing electricity and counting the amount of megawatts generated is not enough to keep the system stable.”

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