The idea that cutting down forests and burning the wood in former coal power plants is green is insane.
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.
What an insane world we live in where environmentalists are killing forests and bats and eagles all in the name of saving them from AGW.
Today the outrage is forests.
Protected forests in Europe felled to meet EU renewable targets – report
Europe’s bioenergy plants are burning trees felled from protected conservation areas rather than using forest waste, new report shows.
Protected forests are being indiscriminately felled across Europe to meet the EU’s renewable energy targets, according to an investigation by the conservation group Birdlife.
Up to 65% of Europe’s renewable output currently comes from bioenergy, involving fuels such as wood pellets and chips, rather than wind and solar power.
Bioenergy fuel is supposed to be harvested from residue such as forest waste but, under current legislation, European bioenergy plants do not have to produce evidence that their wood products have been sustainably sourced.
Birdlife found logging taking place in conservation zones such as Poloniny national park in eastern Slovakia and in Italian riverside forests around Emilia-Romagna, where it said it had been falsely presented as flood-risk mitigation.
What an insane world we live in. Did you know that burning wood pellets in power plant produces twice as much CO2 (or more) per unit of electricity as burning natural gas does?
“Some of the most distinguished scientists in the US have written to UK energy secretary Ed Davey, urging him to abandon the government’s “misguided” subsidies for companies burning wood pellets to generate electricity, such as the Drax plant in Yorkshire”
The letter is here:
“Mounting demand for wood pellets in the UK and Europe has led to an explosive growth in facilities
across the Southern US that are manufacturing wood pellets for export to supply the European
electricity market. In 2012, the Southeastern US emerged as the world’s largest exporter of wood pellets
for biomass electricity generation. With continued investments throughout the southern US, export
volumes reached an estimated 1.75 million tons in 2012 and are expected to jump to 5.7 million tons in
2015, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review.
Demand for wood pellets in the UK and Europe is fueled by misguided energy policies, which
incorrectly assume that burning wood will lower carbon emissions and help address climate change.
These policies appear to subscribe to the wood pellet and power industry claim that burning wood is a
carbon neutral process because new trees will eventually absorb and store the carbon that was released
when wood is burned. In addition, industry claims of sustainability are often based on citing positive
growth to harvest rates in the South. We dispute these claims for the following reasons:
First, a growing body of evidence suggests that trees rather than wood waste are the primary source of
the wood pellets exported to the UK from the Southern US. Recent advances in science and accounting
for pollution from different types of woody biomass have clarified that burning trees to produce
electricity actually increases carbon emissions compared with fossil fuels for many decades and
contributes to other air pollution problems.”
DRAX is spending £700 million to kill trees and produce more CO2 all because of EU directives claiming wood is “carbon neutral” and therefore eligible for green subsidies.
What an insane world.