Carbon Loophole: Why Is Wood Burning Counted as Green Energy?

The idea that cutting down forests and burning the wood in former coal power plants is green is insane.

Most of the wood pellets used by the Drax Power Station come from trees in U.S. forests, such as this one in Sampson County, North Carolina, which was logged in 2015.

Another article pointing that out. Here are a few highlights.

“Ecologists say that the claims of carbon neutrality, which are accepted by the European Union and the British government, do not stand up to scrutiny. The forests of North Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi — as well as those in Europe — are being destroyed to sustain a European fantasy about renewable energy. And with many power plants in Europe and elsewhere starting to replace coal with wood, the question of who is right is becoming ever more important.”

“Wood burning is booming from Britain to Romania. Much of the timber is sourced locally, which is raising serious concerns among European environmentalists about whether every tree cut down for burning is truly replaced by a new one. But Drax’s giant wood-burning boilers are fueled almost entirely by 6.5 million tons of wood pellets shipped annually across the Atlantic. “

“September, some 200 scientists wrote to the EU insisting that “bioenergy [from forest biomass] is not carbon-neutral” and calling for tighter rules to protect forests and their carbon. Yet just a month later, EU ministers rubber-stamped the existing carbon accounting rules, reaffirming that the burning of wood pellets is renewable energy.”

“Wood burning is turning into a major loophole in controlling carbon emissions. The U.S. could be the next country to take advantage. A federal spending bill that passed the House of Representatives earlier this year directed the Environmental Protection Agency to establish policies “that reflect the carbon neutrality of biomass” and to “encourage private investment throughout the forest biomass supply chain,” paving the way for a boom in American pellet burning. “

“Roughly half the cut wood in the EU is now being burned to generate electricity or for heating. And there is growing evidence that the logging is damaging forests and reducing their ability to store carbon.”

 

I could go on. Read it and weep.

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Stop Burning Forests! Burn Natural Gas!

 

“A power plant burning wood chips will typically emit one and a half times the carbon dioxide of a plant burning coal and at least three times the carbon dioxide emitted by a power plant burning natural gas.

Although regrowing trees absorb carbon, trees grow slowly, and for some years a regrowing forest absorbs less carbon than if the forest were left unharvested.

Eventually, the new forest grows faster and the carbon it absorbs, plus the reduction in fossil fuels, can pay back the “carbon debt”, but that takes decades to centuries, depending on the forest type and use. We conservatively estimate that using deliberately harvested wood instead of fossil fuels will release at least twice as much carbon dioxide to the air by 2050 per kilowatt hour. Doing so turns a potential reduction in emissions from solar or wind into a large increase.”

 

Even The Guardian gets it …

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/14/eu-must-not-burn-the-worlds-forests-for-renewable-energy

 

 

The New Coal – Burning wood pellets creates more global warming pollution than coal, not less

The new coal. More CO2 than coal. Yet biomass is called green by the AGW cult and the Eu and the other cult leaders .

“A controversy with reverberations across the Atlantic Ocean is brewing in Hamlet, North Carolina – a literal hamlet 120 miles northwest of Wilmington – where a new wood-pellet facility is already in the initial stages of construction.

The mill would become the fourth in North Carolina and the seventh in the Southeast built and operated by Maryland-based Enviva, the largest producer of wood pellets in the world.

The dried and compressed bits of wood produced at the plant would be shipped from Wilmington to a power company in the United Kingdom, who plans to burn them instead of coal as part of the country’s effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by the end of the decade.

The problem, according to many energy analysts, is that burning pellets creates more global warming pollution than coal, not less. One prominent research ecologist even calls wood biomass “the new coal.”

At the same time, environmental advocates say the new mill will further the destruction of deciduous forests in the Southeast – especially in wetlands – and disproportionately harm public health in Dobbins Heights, an overwhelmingly African-American town two miles northeast of the facility.”

“A 2015 analysis for the Southern Environmental Law Center examining the loss of forests found that Enviva wood pellets supplied to Drax would create two and a half times more greenhouse gas emissions than coal over 40 years.

A 2014 study by the U.K.’s environmental agency also factored in drying and transportation costs; it found climate pollution from southeastern U.S. wood pellets to be three times that of coal.”

 

 

World Total Primary Energy Supply

Remember, when they say “renewable” what it really means is:

“Their trick is to hide behind the statement that close to 14 per cent of the world’s energy is renewable, with the implication that this is wind and solar. In fact the vast majority — three quarters — is biomass (mainly wood), and a very large part of that is ‘traditional biomass’; sticks and logs and dung burned by the poor in their homes to cook with. Those people need that energy, but they pay a big price in health problems caused by smoke inhalation.

…world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years.”

The items circled in red do not produce CO2.

http://joannenova.com.au/2017/05/matt-ridley-wind-power-makes-0-of-world-energy/