"EUROPE'S biggest coal-fired power station, Drax, yesterday said it could generate up to one-fifth of its electricity from crops by 2009- provided the Government sticks to its promises on renewable energy.
The company has borne the brunt of environmental protests because its giant station at Selby, West Yorkshire (sic) which produces 7 per cent of Britain's electricity, is the UK's single largest contributor to carbon emissions.
Chief executive Dorothy Thompson said the Government's recently published energy review allowed the burning of crops such as elephant grass and willow branches to qualify for carbon credits. Under the emissions trading scheme, Drax has to buy carbon credits for the coal it burns and the price is expected to rise.
Thompson also warned the price of coal was rising while the wholesale price of electricity was expected to fall this winter as new gas pipelines to Britain come on stream.
In the first half of this year soaring wholesale electricity prices helped profits jump from £13 million to £317 million. This will allow Drax to pay a special 80p-per-share dividend ontop of the interim 4p dividend.
The shares lost 17.5p to £8.56. Robert Lindsay"
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