Drax 'wins' biomass case
The high court has ruled that the conversion of a second unit at the Drax power station to burning biomass instead of coal is eligible for subsidies under the long-term contracts for difference (CfDs) scheme, which guarantees a level of payment for electricity generated from low-carbon sources.
In April, Decc awarded a CfD to only one of the two units at the coal-power plant being converted to biomass, even though the energy department had said at the end of 2013 that both were eligible. Decc ruled that the second unit would instead receive support under the Renewable Obligation (RO) subsidy regime. However, RO rates are less generous. The court has now quashed that decision, although the energy department has been given leave to appeal.
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In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).