Burned! Broadcaster accuses Drax of greenwashing

THE BBC has uncovered a greenwashing scandal involving a company that has received energy subsidies worth billions of pounds.

The corporation’s Panorama programme has found that Drax, which operates Britain’s biggest power station, has decimated sections of a primary forest in Canada. The converted coal plant in Yorkshire now burns imported wood pellets to produce up to 12 percent of the UK’s “renewable” electricity.

Drax power station engineer looking into biomass furnace
A Drax power station engineer looking into a biomass furnace. Photo: Drax Group

The company claims to use only sawdust and waste wood — but drone footage has uncovered evidence of logging in Canadian primary forest. The BBC analysed satellite images and traced logging licences to expose the deception.

Drax has received £6bn in green energy subsidies. Burning wood is considered “environmentally friendly” — but even that is disputed by conservation groups.

Drax said the felled trees were sent to timber mills, and only used malformed trees, offcuts and sawdust to make fuel pellets at its Meadowbank plant. But the BBC filmed a truck leaving the plant, collecting whole logs from a clear-felled forest, and returning with the illicit cargo.

Drax claims the logs were of species unwanted by the timber industry which would have been burned anyway to reduce fire risks.