Does replacing coal with wood lower CO2 emissions? Nope.

Burning wood makes more CO2 than coal.

The conclusions high points:

  • biomass used to displace fossil fuels injects CO2 into the atmosphere at the point of combustion and during harvest, processing and transport.
  • the first impact of displacing coal with wood is an increase in atmospheric CO2relative to continued coal use
  •  before breakeven, atmospheric CO2 is higher than it would have been without the use of bioenergy, increasing radiative forcing and global average temperatures, worsening climate change, including potentially irreversible impacts that may arise before the long-run benefits are realized.
  • biofuels are only beneficial in the long run if the harvested land is allowed to regrow to its pre-harvest biomass and maintained there.
  • The carbon debt incurred when wood displaces coal may never be repaid if development, unplanned logging, erosion or increases in extreme temperatures, fire, and disease (all worsened by global warming) limit regrowth or accelerate the flux of carbon from soils to the atmosphere.
  • harvesting existing forests and replanting with fast-growing species in managed plantations can worsen the climate impact of wood biofuel.
  • growth in wood harvest for bioenergy causes a steady increase in atmospheric CO2 because the initial carbon debt incurred each year exceeds what is repaid.
  • using wood in electricity generation worsens climate change for decades or more even though many of our assumptions favor wood

Image result for wood pellets

 

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

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.

 

Ontario Boondoggle – The Giant Scam Costing Consumers 100s of billions

 

Poor Ontario. An energy policy created by green activists is a grotesquely expensive mess that consumers will be paying for …. for the rest of their lives.

Read and weep here. Unfortunately Canada now has a pretty Prime Minister who will drag us down the same road and commit economic suicide.

ontarioboondoggle

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EU Biofuels = 80% More CO2 Than Oil

No surprise for anyone paying attention.

A study published in late April by an environmental group found that Europe’s biofuel regulations created 80 percent more carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than the conventional oil they replaced. The report estimates the biofuels create new emissions equivalent to putting an extra 12 million cars on the road.

Europe has been blending small percentages of biofuels into conventional gasoline and oil and diesel specifically to reduce CO2 emissions. The continent plans to require biofuels account for 10 percent of all fuel used by 2020. The EU’s CO2 emissions are estimated to have increased by 0.7 percent last year relative to 2014, even though the continent has spent an estimated $1.2 trillion financially supporting green and bio-energy with the goal of lowering CO2 emissions.

 

Ontario Converts 4,000MW of Coal Power Plant to 44MW of solar

Ontario Canada is converting a 4,000MW coal power plant to a 44MMW solar farm.

“Through the IESO’s new Large Renewable Procurement program, solar providers will receive an average of 15.67 cents/kWh for their clean energy.”

“The province’s pivot toward renewables has not come without significant economic ramifications, however. On-peak power cost consumers 17.5 cents/kWh in Nov. of 2015, compared to just 9.7 cents/kWh in the same month of 2006, according to the Ontario Energy Board—an 80 per cent hike. For off-peak power, Ontarians paid 8.3 cents/kWh in 2015, relative to 3.4 cent/kWh in 2006—or 144 per cent more.”

There was no mention in the story how 44MW of intermittent power can replace 4,000MW of dispatchable power.

There was no mention in the story of how many jobs will be transferred to China or India.

 

 

 

 

Coal Vengeance on Drax

Hurrah!

“Britain’s biggest power station is suing the Government for losing a lucrative contract after a Mail on Sunday investigation revealed that it burns wood from precious US forests as a ‘green’ alternative to coal.

Drax is committed to switching from coal to ‘biomass’, or wood pellets.

In December, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey promised the North Yorkshire plant two lucrative ‘contracts for difference’ – which would see it earn £105 for every megawatt hour it generates, rather than the normal price of £50.

But this paper revealed that much of its biomass is shipped in from historic wetland hardwood forests – 3,000 miles away in North Carolina.

“Environmentalists” say this is destroying endangered species’ habitats, and increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2614104/Power-station-sues-government-axeing-contract-MoS-exposed-switch-coal-wood-precious-U-S-forests.html

 

However, keep in mind it was “Environmentalists” who have worked hard to stop fracking. Natural gas has half the CO2 per mega-joule of energy compared to coal. And it is much, much cleaner than coal or wood.

 

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