Stupid and dirty biomass. Produces more CO2 than coal. Lots of particulate matter. Cuts down forests.
“What’s actually happening is we are basically cutting down perfectly healthy, productive trees,” says Tim Searchinger, a research scholar at Princeton University.
In 2015, biomass — which refers to trees or other organic matter burned for fuel — produced more electrical energy in the U.S. than solar panels.
You know … I don’t agree with Henry A Waxman on much. At all in fact until I read this. But I do on part of this recent article.
And I don’t agree with Waxman that there is urgency on CO2 or climate change.
I only obliquely agree with him because the hypocrisy of a “green” that hates clean natural gas while supporting biomass burning is breathtaking.
Anyway … here is what he has to say:
… the House bill includes a little-known provision that would altogether ignore the carbon pollution emitted by burning biomass—trees and other wood products—to generate power.
Logging companies claim that biomass burned for power is “carbon neutral” – thus, not yielding a net pollution increase. They claim that growing new trees absorbs enough carbon pollution to offset the emissions created by burning mature trees. In effect, they assert that wood power is as clean as solar or wind electricity. This is simply not true. The reality is that burning biomass to generate electricity can produce more carbon pollution than it saves by replacing coal.
This biomass loophole would increase carbon pollution at a time when it is imperative that we reduce it. New trees require up to a century of growth to absorb enough carbon dioxide to offset pollution from mature tree combustion. Worse, there is no guarantee that replacement trees planted today to offset the pollution will survive that long. And even if the new trees eventually offset this pollution after a century, climate change is happening now. We can’t wait.
Notice the BS he is trying to peddle that only “logging companies” want biomass. Almost every greenie wants biomass. There is tremendous amounts of money involved in biomass and biomass subsidies.
Governments around the world are exempting the CO2 and pollution biomass is producing. Its a giant con. As is most of the subsidy farming and green anti-CO2 hysteria.
Ontario is importing “advanced biomass” wood pellets from Norway. See the post here is you are coming in late.
I was looking for total CO2 figures for the Atikokan plant. I haven’t found any yet. But I did find an OPG document showing CO2 production of 4 scenarios at Thunder Bay (which is also burning Norwegian Wood). One of those scenarios is a Natural Gas Combined Cycle power plant. It showed that plant producing a huge amount of CO2 compared to wood pellets. I know that isn’t true from this article.
Then I realized the the wood pellet CO2 numbers are based not on actual amount of CO2, but on the “net CO2” which is CO2 minus the fudge factor applied by the AGW cult to claims that since the trees are renewable most of the CO2 doesn’t really count. (page 10 and 11 here)
The key is where they use the term (net) as in “Green House Gas (GHG) Life Cycle Assessment (net)”
Anyway … back to comparing Ontario Wood Pellets to Norway Wood Pellets.
From this OPG document:
See all that CO2 produced by transporting all those pellets from Norway!
Ontario has shut down its coal power plants. One of those coal power plants was Atikokan. What OPG decided to do (because they needed dispatchable power) was to convert the plant to biomass. And that biomass was wood pellets. Not just any wood pellets. It was “Advanced Biomass”.
Advanced biomass has been treated to withstand exposure to rain, and has handling and storage properties similar to those of coal. It is still in the early stages of development, which is why OPG purchases advanced biomass fuel from Norway.
Before we get to CO2 and squandering hundreds of millions to change from one fuel you burn to anther fuel you burn …. you may ask yourself why you need to make wood pellets waterproof.
Wet biomass catches on fire. Or explodes.
Biomass fuel has a wide range of possible refuse items: pellets, chip logs, forestry, sewage sludge, methane, meat and bone, palm kernels, cereal, sawdust, bioenergy crops, or landfill gas. When a biomass fuel is stored in a pile, waiting for transport or use, the biomass can spontaneously heat through oxidation. In order for this to happen, three conditions must sync: rate of heat generation, air supply, and insulation properties of the immediate surroundings. With most biomass material, there is a high moisture content combined with air and/or bacterial fermentation – both of which can cause spontaneous combustion through oxidation.
Back to CO2. The study I have referenced before told us that wood pellets (especially those transported long distances like USA to UK) produce way more CO2 than coal. So I would assume that if you buy wood pellets from Norway, your power plant is producing more CO2 than if you had not spent 170 million and were still burning coal.
‘Green’ logic confuses me.Killing Norwegian forests and turning the wood into special waterproof pellets and then using a lot of fossil fuel to ship it to Ontario to burn in a
closed down resurrected coal power plant seems crazy to me.
The green plan to destroy forests by burning them in power plants is moving forward. Luckily, all that coal is being saved from being turned into electricity by the brave Biomass Plant Operators.
“Business owners in Cape Breton who rely on the forest for a living say high-quality hardwoods are making their way into Nova Scotia Power’s biomass plant in Point Tupper, consuming a wood supply that instead should be available for value-added businesses such as flooring and lumber.
David Fraser of BA Fraser Lumber in Margaree Valley, Inverness County, says he is seeing fewer quality saw logs and he blames it on Nova Scotia Power’s policy of getting the most amount of biomass fuel for the cheapest price.
Fraser, who runs a sawmill and is also a contractor who supplies wood to customers, said contractors simply can’t afford to separate quality saw logs from lower-quality stands of wood intended for the biomass plant.”
The plant requires 650,000 tonnes of trees per year for the $200 million power plant that only produces 60 Megawatts of power. Nova Scotia is closing coal power plants so they can burn trees instead.
Save The Endangered Coal! Trees are evil and must be burned instead.
What an insane world we live in. Did you know that burning wood pellets in power plant produces twice as much CO2 (or more) per unit of electricity as burning natural gas does?
“Some of the most distinguished scientists in the US have written to UK energy secretary Ed Davey, urging him to abandon the government’s “misguided” subsidies for companies burning wood pellets to generate electricity, such as the Drax plant in Yorkshire”
The letter is here:
“Mounting demand for wood pellets in the UK and Europe has led to an explosive growth in facilities
across the Southern US that are manufacturing wood pellets for export to supply the European
electricity market. In 2012, the Southeastern US emerged as the world’s largest exporter of wood pellets
for biomass electricity generation. With continued investments throughout the southern US, export
volumes reached an estimated 1.75 million tons in 2012 and are expected to jump to 5.7 million tons in
2015, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review.
Demand for wood pellets in the UK and Europe is fueled by misguided energy policies, which
incorrectly assume that burning wood will lower carbon emissions and help address climate change.
These policies appear to subscribe to the wood pellet and power industry claim that burning wood is a
carbon neutral process because new trees will eventually absorb and store the carbon that was released
when wood is burned. In addition, industry claims of sustainability are often based on citing positive
growth to harvest rates in the South. We dispute these claims for the following reasons:
First, a growing body of evidence suggests that trees rather than wood waste are the primary source of
the wood pellets exported to the UK from the Southern US. Recent advances in science and accounting
for pollution from different types of woody biomass have clarified that burning trees to produce
electricity actually increases carbon emissions compared with fossil fuels for many decades and
contributes to other air pollution problems.”
DRAX is spending £700 million to kill trees and produce more CO2 all because of EU directives claiming wood is “carbon neutral” and therefore eligible for green subsidies.
What an insane world.
This is a total tragedy caused by environmentalists who are dangerously stupid.
“Power plants that burn wood to produce electricity emit comparatively more pollution than modern coal-fired power plants, according to a group that advocates tougher rules on the growing biomass-power industry.
The issue is relevant in Kentucky because of a proposed wood-burning power plant near Hazard, called ecoPower Generation, the state’s first.
In a study released early Wednesday, the Massachusetts-based Partnership for Policy Integrity said wood-fired plants are not as clean as advocates claim, putting more carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere than coal or natural-gas plants when judged on the ratio of pollution to energy produced.
For example, biomass plants emit nearly 50 percent more carbon dioxide — which traps heat in the atmosphere — per megawatt hour of electricity produced than coal plants, the study concluded. “
“”What emerges from our analysis is a picture of an industry that despite loudly and continually proclaiming itself clean and green, is in many respects still one of the dirtiest corners of the energy industry, an industry where avoidance of pollution restrictions is tolerated, and even encouraged, by state and federal regulators,” the report said.”
Despite industry “standards” that “underestimates hydrochloric acid emissions” the company went ahead and made up their own.
” ecoPower went a step further — that it “invented” its own standards to estimate total emissions of hazardous pollutants. Its level of emissions would have been higher even using the suspect industry standards, the report said”
http://www.kentucky.com/2014/04/02/3174184/report-wood-burning-power-plants.html (h/t Marc Morano)