Subsidized Swimming Pools – Cash For Ash-holes in UK

Cash For Ash in the UK

Greenies are ash-holes.

Wealthy owners of country estates are rewarded for using excessive amounts of heat – as long as it is made using ‘green’ energy.

Some are given as much as £50,000 every year in taxpayers’ money so the UK can meet renewable energy targets agreed with the European Union.

The House of Schivas estate (pictured) is under investigation after being paid thousands in subsidies to heat its swimming pool which it is said to have had on all the time

Rewards increase as the landowners use more heat, so profits can be maximised by turning up the temperature.

The House of Schivas estate in Aberdeenshire run by Lord Catto, 66, is under investigation after the Daily Mail found it has been paid thousands in government subsidies to heat its indoor swimming pool 24 hours a day.

A reporter was told the water was kept hot at all times, even in summer.

In another case an undercover reporter was advised by a green energy salesman to raise the heat in the pool at a country manor to take advantage of the system.

The extraordinary deals mean the wealthy landowners are guaranteed to get the payments for 20 years. Almost £800million has been set aside to cover the payments this year and costs are expected to rise to more than £1billion by 2020.

Meanwhile thousands of homeowners across the country struggle to heat their homes and pay their winter bills.

 

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Wood Burning in UK = Massive Air Pollution

Regular readers know I’ve been going on about the UK power plant DRAX switching from coal to wood pellets.

And I’ve mentioned the EU directives that encourage wood boilers to be installed in the UK instead of gas.

And I’ve mentioned the trees being felled to burn in Europe.

And the morons at my alma mater SFU.

 

Guess what … the air is filthy in the UK .

 

The current weather conditions, coupled with an “unusually high amount of domestic wood burning“, has led to the highest pollution alert being issued.”

Wood is a crappy high CO2 high particulate matter fuel. Combine that with diesel cars (which I’ve also mentioned) and the great killer fogs aren’t far away.

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Protected forests in Europe felled

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.

 

Green Plans to Burn Wood in Alberta Instead of Coal

The green lobbyists have big plans for some of the coal power plants Rachel Notley and the NDP plant to close down.

The are going to convert them to burn trees. And quadruple the price of electricity.

There is more than enough fibre both in Alberta and Canada to fuel a major expansion in pellet production to feed one or two large Alberta coal-fired plants without much of an impact in overall fibre availability. Presenter Jamie Stephen of Torchlight Bioresources estimates a gap between AAC and actual harvest of over 39 million bone dry tonnes (BDT) across Canada, as well as the availability of residues topping 30 million BDT.

AAC is Annual Allowable Cut.

The technology and processes are proven and expertise widely available to convert coal-fired plants to biomass. Presentations by Bill Strauss of FutureMetrics, Brent Boyko of OPG and Brian Moran of U.K. bioenergy giant Drax made that abundantly clear.

Burning trees instead of coal is the future because government lobbyists can make people do stupid things.

The execution gap is economic, something outlined with some precision all day, but driven home by Mark Mackay of Transalta, Corp. Transalta is one of the three major power generators in Alberta with coal fired assets on hand. “If we say the current power market in Alberta is paying roughly $22/Mwh, and biomass is looking like $85/Mwh, somehow we have to think that equation through. I think government policy will be a big part of getting this started.”

More lobbying to take an abundant resource (coal) and replace it with forests and charge consumers 4 times as much.

The bulk of available biomass in Alberta and neighbouring B.C. is controlled by the major forest tenure holders, and so any solution will have to include them. Several speakers and attendees suggest the provinces could adopt a ‘use it or lose it” approach like Ontario.

Burn trees or else.

The next step is to build off the momentum created by this gathering of varied interests in Edmonton. In the closing chat, both WPAC executive director Gord Murray and Transalta’s Mark Mackay agreed that parties should work together to get this viable peak option in front of policy makers in Alberta. “It’s clear to me from this meeting that biomass is an option worth looking into, and that the will is there in this group to make it work,” Mackay concluded. “But time is of the essence. We have to get in front of government with this, and soon.”

Lobby politicians with huge amounts of money and be quick about it! Or those idiots building windmills will get all the government subsidies.

CO2: Wood versus Coal

How much CO2 does wood produce versus coal?

The results of our analysis shows that wood is generally about the same 
or slightly lower in CO2 emissions on a dry basis, 
but both wood and coal do not naturally have zero moisture content (MC).

The typical moisture content of coal is:
  • Anthracite Coal : 2.8% - 16.3% by weight
  • Bituminous Coal : 2.2% - 15.9% by weight
  • Lignite Coal : 39% or more by weight
It is the water that causes CO2 emissions to increase over the dry weight. 
The underlying cause that drives this is “the enthalpy of vaporization.” 
In simple terms, it takes energy to evaporate the water in wood or coal 
and convert it to vapor, and all of that energy is sent out the chimney 
and into the atmosphere in the form of water vapor, unless a condensing 
boiler is used which may claim part of the escaping energy. 
To get a million BTUs of useful energy from the fuel, 
a larger mass of wood or coal is necessary to compensate for the losses 
from vaporizing all that water. And more wood/coal burned means more CO2 produced. 

With coal, the higher water content grades also have lower carbon content 
and higher volatiles. The net effect of this is that, on average, CO2 
outputs are relatively consistent across grades (see Table 2). 

At 45 percent, the combustion of wood yields about 9.0 percent 
more CO2 per unit of useful energy than an average of the coal 
grades’ outputs. 

Wood Pellets are 3x to 4x More Expensive Than Coal And Produce More CO2.

UPDATE: See 1.5 year old numbers for coal versus wood in USA at bottom

I’m not a big fan of coal. But I do oppose stupidity. Switching from coal (which produces CO2 and particulate matter when burned) with wood pellets (which produces CO2 and particulate matter when burned) that kill forests seems kind of dumb.

How much CO2 and particulate matter is hard to find out. This post suggests wood pellets produce more CO2 than coal when you account for all of the transportation costs.

This article suggests wood pellets costs 150 to 200 a ton when coal is going for 51$ a ton.

“Wood pellets are much more expensive, about $150 to $210 a ton, compared to about $51 for coal in Newcastle, Australia, the global benchmark. Lyra wouldn’t provide a price for sugar-cane pellets, though he said they’re “competitive” with wood.

These products don’t compete on price,” said Lyra. “Companies that are looking to use renewables as a replacement have assets fueled by coal that has a deadline to disappear.”

It would make sense ( in the green stupidity way) to replace coal with trees and then pay 4x the cost and still produce lots of CO2.

As for CO2, the above referenced article says:

“Bagasse pellets emit about one-16th the carbon dioxide of coal, when burned in Brazil

That is the key. If you transport the pellets (whether wood or sugar cane) it produces a lot more CO2.

This article is interesting.

“Burning wood pellets releases as much or even more carbon dioxide per unit of energy as burning coal, so in order for burning pellets to be carbon-neutral the carbon emitted into the atmosphere has to be recaptured in regenerated forests, Abt says. Residual wood, such as tree thinnings and unused tree parts left over at timber mills, is the best material for wood pellets, says Abt. But he and others say that not enough of such waste wood exists to feed the growing demand for wood pellets.

So the industry has turned to whole trees.”

Ouch!

“The accounting now used for assessing compliance with carbon limits in the Kyoto Protocol and in climate legislation contains a far-reaching but fixable flaw that will severely undermine greenhouse gas reduction goals (1). It does not count CO2 emitted from tailpipes and smokestacks when bioenergy is being used, but it also does not count changes in emissions from land use when biomass for energy is harvested or grown. This accounting erroneously treats all bioenergy as carbon neutral regardless of the source of the biomass, which may cause large differences in net emissions. For example, the clearing of long-established forests to burn wood or to grow energy crops is counted as a 100% reduction in energy emissions despite causing large releases of carbon.”

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/326/5952/527.summary

UPDATE:

“The cost of a unit of electricity consumed within the U.S. ranged between $171 and $175.40 per MWh, depending upon the pine rotation age. The cost of pulpwood procurement (stumpage, logging, and pulpwood transportation) was about 26 percent of the overall cost across rotation ages. Manufacturing of wood pellets and generation of electricity at the power plant contributed about 30 and 40 percent, respectively, toward the overall cost of a unit of electricity across rotation ages. The average unit cost was $173 per MWh, which was 73 percent and 157 percent higher than the average obtained from coal, at $100 per MWh, and natural gas, at $67 per MWh, respectively.

This cost differential is the main reason U.S. electric utilities show little interest in utilizing wood pellets. Therefore, special policy incentives will be needed to promote wood pellets as a potential feedstock, instead of coal and natural gas.”

http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/10903/how-pellets-compare-to-fossil-fuels-in-carbon-intensity-and-cost

 

 

 

 

 

Another UK Coal Power Plant Converted To Burn US Wood

This is just insane.

Burning wood pellets releases as much or even more carbon dioxide per unit of energy as burning coal.

 

“One of Britain’s dozen remaining coal-fired power plants is to be converted to burn wood pellets shipped in from North America, after the European Commission approved a £1bn subsidy contract for the project.

RWE’s Lynemouth power station in Northumberland is due to close by the end of this year under environmental rules, but will now be resurrected as a biomass plant following EU state aid approval for the consumer-funded subsidies.

The 420 megawatt plant, which produces enough electricity to power 450,000 homes, could be up and running again within 18 months, subject to a final investment decision early next year, RWE said.

The decision also boosted Drax, the Yorkshire coal plant that is awaiting state aid approval of a similar subsidy contract for the conversion of one of its units to burn biomass.”

http://www.thegwpf.com/green-madness-coal-plant-gets-green-light-to-burn-american-wood-pelets