Amjad: Drax study should be heeded – for the public’s sake

Conservative MEP Amjad Bashir has hailed a report published today as “potentially a major breakthrough” in building a future for Drax Power Station based on biomass fuel.

The MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber said: “This well thought-through report finally debunks some of the myths about wind and solar power, and reveals the true cost of these alternatives for renewable energy. I hope it will be accepted by the authorities and lead to a fairer regime for subsidies in the future.”

The analysis published today (Tuesday) by Drax’s owners was compiled by economics consultancy NERA and Imperial College London. It pinpoints hidden costs attached to wind and solar power because they require back up sources of power for periods when they are out of use nor ineffective.

It says that if the government widened its subsidy regime for renewables to include Drax’s system of burning wood pellets it would save consumers a massive £2bn over 15 years.

Mr Bashir said: “This is a huge sum and shows the degree to which a blind eye has been turned to the true cost of these intermittent renewables. They are fine until the wind drops or the sun goes in and then we need a plan B – and it is only right that cost of that back-up should be factored in.

“This is potentially a major breakthrough. Drax are not asking for special favours here, only a fair deal alongside other renewables.

“As Conservative small business spokesman in the European Parliament, I want fledgling companies and the public at large to get the best energy deal possible.

“I’m not pushing this for good for the Drax company or even for its employees – although the plant puts food on a lot of tables in my region. I am pushing it for the sake of our long-term energy security, for domestic consumers and for small businesses. They need a reliable energy supply and competitive prices.”