Europe’s green energy policy is a disaster for the environment.

Posted: December 3, 2016 by tallbloke in Carbon cycle, Energy, greenblob, Idiots, Incompetence

The European Union’s proposals for revising its renewable energy policies are greenwashing and don’t solve the serious flaws, say environmental groups.

The EU gets 65 per cent of its renewable energy from biofuels – mainly wood – but it is failing to ensure this bioenergy comes from sustainable sources, and results in less emissions than burning fossil fuels. Its policies in some cases are leading to deforestation, biodiversity loss and putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than burning coal.

“Burning forest biomass on an industrial scale for power and heating has proved disastrous,” says Linde Zuidema, bioenergy campaigner for forest protection group Fern. “The evidence that its growing use will increase emissions and destroy forests in Europe and elsewhere is overwhelming.”

On 30 November the European Commission unveiled a draft “clean energy” package for the period up to 2030. On the surface, these proposals address some of the issues with existing renewable energy policies.

But environmental groups who have been analysing the proposals say that the changes will make little difference.

“It’s almost worse than doing nothing,” says Sini Erajaa, the bioenergy policy officer for BirdLife Europe & Central Asia, who describes the changes as greenwashing.

For instance, one proposed change is to apply the EU’s sustainability criteria to biomass used in heat and power plants whose output is 20 megawatts or more. “This means, for instance, that electricity and heat from biomass have to produce at least 80 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels by 2021 and 85 per cent less by 2026,” states a memo on the revised renewable energy directive.

You might think this will ensure that burning biomass does not result in higher greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuel use, but far from it. That statement is misleading because it does not make clear that the EU’s method for calculating emissions assumes burning biomass produces no CO2 at all. “Emissions from the fuel in use shall be taken to be zero for biofuels and bioliquids,” states a 2009 directive.

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  1. Lucas Sandoval says:

    The Drax Power Station is an example of that. Half of its capacity was converted to burn wood. Makes no sense at all.

  2. Bloke down the pub says:

    I was having this very conversation with a friend last night. I’m glad to see the New Scientist agrees with what I told him.

  3. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Less trees to hug 😦

  4. AlecM says:

    Now that the Met Office is dumping fake CO2 phizzicks, it appears other organisations are dumping it. This isn’t to do with right or wrong, just survival as we enter the new LIA and a Trump cleansing of America. No organisation wanting to continue will risk its life just for political dogma.

    Thus in the UK it might appear that Greg Clarke and Nick Hurd are playing the carbon traders’ hand, but look more deeply and they have dumped Ed Thicko Davey’s diesel STOR. Not unnaturally, the greenies and lefties are bleating that this means power cuts. However, there is another solution to the problem AND it will save CO2 emissions AND it will slash electricity costs by forcing windmill owners to be supplicants, begging for sales, rather than be an oligopoly.

    I pity the Scots’ fascists who have hog-tied the SNP as their supplicant party. No more will Highland windmills be able to rape the English poor: they will have to rape the Scots’ poor instead…….

  5. graphicconception says:

    My only question is: How could they have not foreseen that?

    Taking Drax as an example, who can grow trees faster than a power station can burn them?
    Who does not know that there will be more CO2 emissions per MWhr if using wood and not coal?
    Drax is built on a coal field. The wood comes by sea from the USA. How is that an improvement?

    Again and again, it seems, the greenies get a good idea but completely lack the brainpower to think it through.

  6. Curious George says:

    Creative CO2 accounting. The whole purpose is to redistribute my money to them.

  7. tom0mason says:

    Burn coal – no because?
    Burn wood – yes because?

    The bottom line is an argument about the age of the wood.
    The CO2 from which ever source, was at some point in the atmosphere.

  8. tom0mason says:

    Dump the renewables, all of them.
    Put the UK electricity back onto a proper functioning market, no subsidies just pure trade rules.
    And with the money saved buy carbon-offsets by the bucket-load from all the commonwealth and ex-commonwealth countries. And while the UK is doing that renegotiate trade deals with all of them for food, textiles, grain, raw materials, etc.
    The moment the EU balks at it the UK calls Article 50 and waves good riddance to them.

  9. David A Anderson says:

    It appears to be that elitist politicians are playing a massive chess game with physics, and the politicians keep trying to rewrite the rules, ( it’s their nature) and physics keeps inevitably winning every arguement about the rules, ( It is its nature to do so)