UK: Maybe Some Sanity on the Wood Pellet Issue?

1,000,000,000£ subsidy for burning wood pellets might be scrapped?

Controversial subsidies for burning wood in power stations could be scrapped in the drive to clean up Britain’s air.

Firms that burn wood pellets currently receive about £1billion a year because, unlike coal, these are considered renewable sources of energy.

But critics say burning wood produces similar amounts of carbon dioxide to coal, contributing to air pollution.

It also increases the logging of forests in the US, while shipping them to Britain in vast quantities has a further negative effect on the environment.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove yesterday revealed subsidies for burning wood could be scrapped as he unveiled the Government’s clean air strategy.

The U-turn comes after years of state support for ‘biomass’ such as wood pellets, in schemes pioneered by disgraced former Liberal Democrat energy secretary Chris Huhne. 

He was hired by US firm Zilkha Biomass, which makes wood pellets, after serving a prison sentence in 2013 for perverting the course of justice.

The clean air strategy includes proposals to scrap some subsidies paid under so-called ‘contracts for difference’.

The contracts, which last until 2027, offer payments of about £100 per megawatt hour for burning imported wood – more than double the wholesale energy price.

Britain’s biggest power station, Drax, near Selby, North Yorkshire, burns about 7million tons a year of compressed wood pellets imported from the US and Canada.

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I’m Pretty Sure Wood Has Carbon In It

From a DRAX news release

The findings were revealed in analysis from Oxford Economics looking at the economic impact of Drax’s UK operations, which includes Selby-based Drax Power Station.

The power station, which employs around 900 people, has converted four of its six generating units to use compressed wood pellets and generated 15% of the country’s renewable electricity in 2017 – enough for four million households. Since transforming the power station to use biomass instead of coal it has become the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

If you are burning wood instead of coal, you aren’t decarbonising.

DRAX – 729 million pound Subsidy to Burn Forests

Drax is a coal power plant in the UK that has converted 3 out its 6 boilers to burn wood pellets.

Why is DRAX switching to wood pellets?

The EU has declared wood pellets to be green despite the fact wood pellets produce more CO2 than coal.

This is a bigger scam than diesel.

 

 Drax received subsidies worth £729m last year, all to be paid for by electricity users.

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/drax-biomass-subsidies-rise-to-729m-in-2017/#more-32520

 

 

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

 

 

DRAX Biomass = 3 million Diesel Cars

DRAX would be a good name for a Bond villain. But its so much worse. They used to burn coal. Now they burn biomass.

And it is dirtier.

emissions of particulates from the site [DRAX] were 897 tonnes last year compared to 382 tonnes in 2008.”

The power station uses about seven million tonnes of biomass or wood pellets a year, much of it imported, particularly from the US”

“Last year, Drax received subsidies of £558 million for its biomass operation, a figure that is expected to rise to around £800 million this year as the third biomass unit comes on stream.”

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/drax-power-station-biomass-emissions-dangerous-worse-than-coal-claim-environmentalists/