In December 2012 the UK’s new Green Investment Bank agreed to give Drax (the UK’s largest coal-fired power station) £100 million towards the financing of their planned conversion to burning biomass. If all goes to plan, half of Drax’s generating capacity will come from burning biomass – mostly imported wood – by 2016.
Burning biomass in power stations is neither green nor renewable energy – in fact, it is devastating socially and environmentally, in many of the same ways that coal is. Drax isn’t converting to biomass to lower their impact or their carbon emissions. They’re converting to get around EU air quality regulations relating to emissions from coal, and to cash in on massive government subsidies for converting to biomass, which will see energy bills increase even more.
We estimate that the Green Bank could channel another £500 million towards big biomass and biofuel projects in the next few years. This would be a massive contribution towards the financing of an industry that is quickly expanding, leaving destroyed ecosystems and communities in its wake. The Green Bank should not be funding big biomass – we’re calling on Green Bank Chair Lord Smith to make a commitment not to give any more financing to the bioenergy industry.
Take action by telling Lord Smith not to fund any more biomass or biofuel developments.
To find out more about the Green Bank and our efforts to stop more funding for biomass, see Banking on Big Biomass and for more information on coal-biomass conversions see our campaign page Coal-Biomass Conversions.
In response to the vast volume of letters you sent to Lord Smith, the Green Investment Bank requested a meeting with Biofuelwatch on the 20th of March. Read more about this here