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.

 

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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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