Independent analysis by Oxford Economics has shown that Drax, the leader in renewable energy, contributed CA$1.1 billion to Canada’s economy last year and supported 10,400 jobs across the UK.
The analysis measures the economic impact of the Drax Group’s Canadian operations, which include 10 plants in British Columbia and Alberta, that produce sustainable biomass wood pellets used to generate renewable energy in the UK and Asia.
The renewable energy leader spent $736 million on Canadian suppliers last year, with more than half of that total (58 percent) spent on British Columbia-based companies. Another 13 percent went to companies in Alberta and 12 percent to companies in Montreal.
Drax plans to increase its pellet production capacity from around five million tons today to eight million tons by the end of this decade. The company is also developing a breakthrough technology for negative emissions – bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which permanently removes millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while generating renewable energy.
Sustainable biomass is central to decarbonization plans around the world, with the world’s leading climate scientists at the United Nations IPCC seeing BECCS as critical to tackling climate change.
Drax Senior Vice President Matt White said: “Drax not only plays a vital role in keeping millions of homes and businesses in the UK and Asia powered up, but we are proud to support thousands of jobs in Canada support and contribute more than $1 billion to the economy while it is under severe pressure.
“Sustainable biomass is becoming increasingly attractive to governments and industries around the world. That’s because it supports energy security as it is a reliable renewable energy source and when coupled with carbon capture and storage technology can permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere, helping the world meet its climate goals.”
Stephen Foreman, Associate Director at Oxford Economics said: “Our research demonstrates the significant contribution that a large and successful UK company like the Drax Group can make to the global economy.
“The Drax Group’s operations in the UK, US and Canada generated £3.1 billion of GDP in 2021 and supported over 35,000 jobs across these three markets. We also find that the activities generated by Drax’s power plants, pellet plants and corporate offices are also having a positive impact on local communities in the UK, US and Canada.”
Jobs supported by Drax’s operations across Canada covered a wide range of sectors, including high-skilled industrial component manufacturing, engineering and engineering machinery, and transportation.