Now there are times when I wonder about the mental capacity of those involved in renewables or the Climate mantra but to transport wood halfway around the world to supposedly save a soupçon of CO² has always struck me as bizarre. Contrary to what the President of the USA has recently opinioned CO² is not a poison but one of the staples of life itself. Thanks to the website ‘notalotofpeopleknowthat.com’ we have this short piece:
h/t Ric Werme
There have been increasing concerns lately about the environmental impact of biomass power plants which use wood pellets.
Quite apart from the local environmental impact in the forests where the wood is sourced, it has been claimed by US scientists that biomass plants could actually increase CO2 emissions.
The giant facility at Drax is one of the UK power stations which is starting to convert from coal to biomass, encouraged by subsidies paid for by electricity consumers. They have attempted to defend their operation by claiming that they are “using off-cuts of wood that would otherwise be waste”.
One of their suppliers is a US company, Rentech Inc, which has been developing two new plants in Canada to supply the ever growing international market for pellets. On their website, they show this photo of the “First shipment of wood fibre to the Atikokan facility”, one of the two plants.
Now, I didn’t do GCE in trees, but they don’t look like off-cuts that would otherwise be waste to me.
Now I am aware that Drax sources it’s timber, 400,000 tons pa, from a company in North Carolina and there is some evidence that most of this Canadian timber goes to Ontario Power but what this identifies is that a whole industry has grown up to provide ‘renewable ‘ timber to biomass power. A tree takes 65 years to grow to harvest size and these trees look from their size considerably older. Renewable resource? Not in our lifetime! As to how much of this timber ends up at Drax or Tilbury we don’t know, but it may well do!