sunshine hours

March 19, 2018

We can’t burn our way out of the climate crisis

Filed under: Clean Air,Coal,UK,wood,wood burning — sunshinehours1 @ 12:57 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

I don’t believe we are in a climate crisis. I think more CO2 is good for greening the planet.

I think 1C or 2C of warming over the next century would be great (even though I probably won’t be around to enjoy the warmth).

But I hate the hypocrisy of replacing coal with wood in power plants and then claiming it is renewable and green.

It ain’t green.

Burning wood produces more CO2 than coal and more particulate matter than coal.

Now … even Leonardo di Caprio (his foundation anyway) agrees with me (sort of).

“Burning trees in power plants is a vision from Mordor, not one of clean energy, but electricity generation from wood and other biomass is growing around the world, spurred on by billions in renewable energy subsidies.

Policymakers subsidize bioenergy based in part on the myth that biomass energy has low or zero carbon emissions – even though in reality, wood-burning power plants emit more CO2 than coal plants per unit energy. The treatment of bioenergy as “carbon neutral” extends to carbon trading schemes, providing an incentive for coal plants to convert to burning wood. “

“Bioenergy advocates often claim that CO2 pollution from wood-burning power plants doesn’t harm the climate, because biomass is sourced from “forestry residues” (tree tops and branches left over after the tree trunk is taken away for sawtimber or pulp). Since these residues would decompose and emit CO2 anyway, they argue, burning them for energy does not increase CO2 in the atmosphere.

There are two big problems with this argument. First, new wood-burning power plants being built in the EU, UK, and even Asia burn wood pellets that are largely made from whole trees, not residues. Tens of thousands of acres of forest in the U.S. and Canada, including bottomland hardwood forests that represent some of the most carbon-rich ecosystems in North America, are being cut for pellet manufacture, replacing the forest’s natural climate and carbon control infrastructure with mud flats.

Second, even when biomass is derived from forestry residues, it still has a carbon impact, because burning wood emits CO2 quickly, and letting it decompose emits CO2 slowly.  “

Read the rest.

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Somewhere in this scheme there has to be room for basa bamboo, those giant 8″+ wide bamboo “trees” that grow 100 feet or more in three years, which grow closer together than typical woodlands do and thus should theoretically yield more wood for processing than traditional trees. It certainly grows in more subtropical areas than American woodlands which would allow for local renewable resources, jobs, environmental stabilization of local lands, decreased runoff, etc. To me it should be a no-brainer … but the powers that be don’t have brains with which to think.

    Comment by AZ1971 — March 19, 2018 @ 9:22 PM | Reply


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