ENERGY giant Drax, which made a multi-million move into Scotland last year, has said it aims to be carbon negative by 2030.

The company said it expects to be removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it produces throughout its operations within a decade.

However, the UK Government will need to provide the right incentives to encourage it to make the huge investment required.

This will require the development of an effective negative emissions policy and investment framework for new technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

Energy giant mulls plans for hefty investment in Scottish assets

“Having pioneered the use of sustainable biomass, Drax now produces 12 per cent of the UK’s renewable electricity,” said chief executive Will Gardiner.

“With the right negative emissions policy, we can do much more, removing millions of tonnes of emissions from the atmosphere each year.”

Drax has converted four of the six units at its flagship Yorkshire plant to run on wood pellets rather than coal. With wood pellets classed as renewable the output from such biomass- powered units is deemed to be carbon neutral.

The company has noted the possibility of developing carbon capture and storage facilities that would be capable of handling 16 million tonnes of emissions annually.

It would only require eight million tonnes capacity to offset all the emissions produced in its other operations.

Urgent action needed to harness carbon capture potential of North Sea finds report

Drax is running a carbon capture pilot scheme at the Yorkshire plant without a storage element as yet.

With the use of coal set to be phased out by 2025 under Government plans to tackle climate change, Drax is considering developing gas-fired units at the plant.

The company has said it can support the energy transition by running power generating facilities that can be drawn on to compensate for fluctuations in wind power.

Inside Ben Cruachan 60 years after the mountain was hollowed

In October last year it bought a £700 million portfolio from ScottishPower. This includes the Cruachan pumped hydro power station in Argyll, two hydro-electric facilities on rivers in South West Scotland and four gas-fired power stations in England.