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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Taller plants moving into Arctic because of climate change

Assertion: “Plants in the Arctic are growing taller because of climate change, according to new research from a global scientific collaboration led by the University of Edinburgh.”

Alternate Suggestion: CO2 ppm

 

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.

 

The Biomass Scam

The EU is behind the biomass scam where coal is replaced with wood and wood produces more CO2 than coal.

The EU was also behind the diesel scam which has made the air filthier.

The British government pushed to weaken EU controls on biomass energy in December, even though the technology will undermine efforts to contain global warming for up to half a century, according to research released today.

Despite its imminent Brexit, the UK successfully rewrote a proposal to almost quadruple the potential size of wood burning plants before they had to meet efficiency criteria, according to documents obtained by Unearthed, and shared exclusively with Climate Home News.

The win for Whitehall’s lobby offensive – in alliance with Poland and Spain – was pushed through in a ministerial revision to the renewable energy directive in December.

Shortly before it was approved, a group of high profile climate scientists warned the directive’s biomass articles were “a critical flaw” in the proposal, and would accelerate climate change.

This was because the proposal tolerated the cutting down and burning of whole trees, a process that releases more CO2 into the atmosphere than replanted trees can absorb for decades, if not centuries.”

 

Because burned pellets emit carbon at a faster speed than decomposing forest material, the paper finds that burning them creates more net emissions – when measured against their “alternative fate” as decomposing twigs and branches.

Mary Booth, the report’s author and director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, a campaign group opposed to biomass, told CHN that counting biomass smokestack emissions – which tend to be greater than coal per megawatt-hour – was a more representative way of tallying net emissions than current assumptions of carbon neutrality.

“Scenarios that hold down greenhouse gas emissions to avoiding dangerous temperature rise require CO2 emissions to peak in the next ten to twenty years,” she said. “However, this analysis shows that wood-burning power plants burning green chips and wood pellets will inject a lot of extra COinto the atmosphere just in [that] period when it is most urgent to reduce emissions.”

The paper finds that cumulative net emissions from residue pellet-burning will also increase over a 40–50 year period, though less steeply.”

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/02/21/documents-reveal-uk-push-water-eu-biomass-regulations/