You can’t be a climate leader and burn trees for electricity

It appears the UK has realized that biomass (imported wood pellets) produces more CO2 than coal.

“Recently, the UK government tightened its carbon intensity requirement for any biomass-burning power plants seeking future support from its Contracts for Difference subsidy program. This was a crucial first step, as my colleague and I described in detail here.

The new emission limit is now set at 29 kg of CO2 equivalent per MWh. This effectively rules out the use of imported wood pellets for electricity production for new UK biomass plants. In justifying the change, the UK government says that “continuing to apply the existing GHG [greenhouse gas] threshold would lead to GHG emissions [for biomass electricity] significantly above the projected UK grid average.”

Translation: burning wood pellets for electricity is bad for the climate and is not part of a credible solution to decarbonizing electricity grids. Coming from the world’s largest importer of biomass, and a country that spent over $1 billion last year alone subsidizing this industry, this is a big deal.

Unfortunately this is not retroactive and DRAX keeps burning massive amountsof imported wood pellets.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a big fan of wind/solar. I just think it is a giant con to think wood pellets are “carbon neutral”.

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