Biofuels = Centuries Long Increase in CO2

This paper is a pdf.

Biofules, biomass , wood pellets et al are a disaster if you believe more CO2 will cause Global Warming.

Does replacing coal with wood lower CO2 emissions?
Dynamic lifecycle analysis of wood bioenergy
John D. Sterman1
Lori Siegel2
Juliette N. Rooney-Varga3

 

In sum, although bioenergy from wood can lower long-run CO2 concentrations compared to
fossil fuels, its first impact is an increase in CO2, worsening global warming over the critical
period through 2100 even if the wood offsets coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel.
Declaring that biofuels are carbon neutral as the EU and others have done, erroneously
assumes forest regrowth quickly and fully offsets the emissions from biofuel production and
combustion. The neutrality assumption is not valid because it ignores the transient, but
decades to centuries long, increase in CO2 caused by biofuels.

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Burning Forests (to save coal)

A broken analog clock is right twice a day. So I’m quoting from the Guardian again.

A few quotes:

“In the middle of the 19th century, wood burning rose to such levels that western Europe was almost completely deforested. Ironically, the rise of coal burning saved the situation”

” carbon emissions will rise by 6% or possibly more if wood is allowed to continue to provide more and more of Europe’s energy output”

“Europe has increased its use of renewable energy sources to provide it with power, and about half of that rise has come from burning biomass. Unfortunately, says Beddington, if that increase continues Europe will soon need to burn an amount of wood greater than its total harvest and would have to seek sources from other continents. Either land for farming would be turned to biomass growing or precious natural habitats will be exploited, most probably the latter”

“In generating exactly the same amount of electricity, wood will release four times as much carbon into the atmosphere as gas would do, and one and half times as much as coal. In addition, energy is used in harvesting and transport while vast stretches of land are needed to create the forests to supply generating stations with the wood they need.”

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