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10 May 2023 |

Generating a greener future

The need to decarbonise is very real, and if we don’t reduce our carbon emissions quickly, we could be sleepwalking into a climate crisis.

To achieve net zero by 2050, the national grid must be secure, affordable and sustainable. In the last decade alone, the UK has decarbonised its power grid faster than any other major economy thanks to the growth of biomass, wind and solar power and the almost complete phase out of coal.

But what happens to our power grid when the wind doesn’t blow, or the sun doesn’t shine and how can we build a more secure and greener future at an affordable price?

At Drax, we believe pumped storage hydro is perfectly placed to help us solve these problems. It is the only proven grid-scale technology which can store huge amounts of energy for a long duration. These sites act like giant water batteries, using excess power from the grid to pump water to an upper reservoir where it is stored, before being released to generate electricity when demand needs to be met.

Forum 23 partner blog by Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Scottish Assets Director

Cruachan dam and upper reservoir

Into the future, the country’s appetite for energy consumption will only increase and it is vital that business and governments work together to upscale the energy supply. Drax has exciting plans to build a second underground pumped storage hydro plant at our existing Cruachan facility in Argyll, Scotland.

Cruachan already plays a critical role in stabilising the electricity system, balancing supply and demand by storing excess power from the national grid.

Building another plant will be vital to enabling more wind and solar power to come online, strengthening the country’s energy security while promoting decarbonisation.

This project will more than double Cruachan’s generating capacity, supporting new green jobs and helping our homes and businesses go greener by bringing more renewable power online.