Europe’s renewable energy directive poised to harm global forests, say experts

Posted: September 13, 2018 by oldbrew in Critique, Emissions, Idiots
Tags: , , ,

Whether wood is truly renewable or not is a matter of opinion. Trees can be burnt in minutes but regrowth obviously takes many years. Theory has it that new trees can over time recover the carbon dioxide from tree burning but how realistic is that? Not very much, according to experts. The same politicians who attend climate conferences proclaiming ’emissions’ are a terrible problem now actively support making them worse. You couldn’t make it up.

Europe’s decision to promote the use of wood as a “renewable fuel” will likely greatly increase Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and cause severe harm to the world’s forests, according to a new paper published in Nature Communications.

European officials on final language for a renewable energy directive earlier this summer that will almost double Europe’s use of renewable energy by 2030.

Against the advice of 800 scientists, the directive now treats wood as a low-carbon fuel, reports, meaning that whole trees or large portions of trees can be cut down deliberately to burn.

Such uses go beyond papermaking wastes and other wood wastes, which have long been used for bioenergy, but not to this magnitude.

The paper, co-authored by eight scientists from the United States and Europe, estimates that this bioenergy provision in the Renewable Energy Directive will lead to vast new cutting of the world’s forests. This is because additional wood equal to all of Europe’s existing wood harvests will be needed just to supply 5 percent of Europe’s energy.

The paper also estimates that using wood for energy will likely result in 10 to 15 percent [rise] in emissions from Europe’s energy use by 2050. This could occur by turning a 5 percent decrease in emissions required under the directive using solar energy or wind energy into a 5 to 10 increase by using wood.

Europe’s increased wood demand will require additional cutting in forests around the world, but the researchers explain the global impact is likely to be even greater by encouraging other countries to do the same. Already, tropical forest countries like Brazil and Indonesia have announced they, too, will try to reduce the effect of climate change by increasing their use of wood for bioenergy.

“Globally, if the world were to supply only an additional 2 percent of its energy from wood, it would need to double commercial wood harvests around the world with harsh effects on forests,” said study lead author Tim Searchinger, researcher scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Although wood is renewable, cutting down and burning wood for energy increases carbon in the atmosphere for decades to hundreds of years depending on a number of factors, the researchers explained. Bioenergy use in this form takes carbon that would otherwise remain stored in a forest and puts it into the atmosphere.

Because of various inefficiencies in both the harvesting and burning process, the result is that far more carbon is emitted up smokestacks and into the air per kilowatt hour of electricity or heat than burning fossil fuels, the authors explained.

Continued here.

[The paper, “Europe’s renewable energy directive poised to harm global forests,” first appeared online Sept. 12 in Nature Communications.]

  1. wolsten says:

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    You just cannot make this stuff up.

  2. pochas94 says:

    Oh, but these guys are experts at makin’ stuff up.

  3. oldbrew says:

    The report says the new EU directive means its member countries ‘could consume quantities of wood equal to all Europe’s wood harvests, greatly increase carbon in the air for decades, and set a dangerous global example.’

    The EU has ignored that. The report also says: ‘overall, replacing fossil fuels with wood will likely result in 2-3x more carbon in the atmosphere in 2050 per gigajoule of final energy.’


    How long past 2050 before any CO2 advantage over coal emerges – 50 years? 100+? Never?
    So much for supposed climate concerns being urgent.

  4. ivan says:

    It is obvious that the civil servants thinking up all these directives have no idea how the real world works. In this case they say cut down more trees to stop the rise in CO2 production and completely ignore the fact that cutting growing trees prevents them taking CO2 out of the atmosphere – something they say they want.

    From what I can see these idiots need to be severely beaten with a clue stick until they see sense – unfortunately their seeing sense may be impossible.

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    We did all that bio-mass burning to generate Electricity in California under MoonBeam Brown I in the late 1970s, as soon as that set of Mandates ran out so did the plants and they were scrapped. The gathering and transport of the material was more then the BTUs were worth, and the fuel burned in the gathering and transport exceeded any carbon savings from Bio-mass utilization.

    New growing forests take up a lot more carbon then mature forests, is also a proved fact. If you are out in the woods harvesting logs, then the scrap wood generated is nearly free and a positive power source. It is better for the forest if the slash generated by harvest is left in the woods to regenerate the soils.

    I was once involved in this effort and have run the numbers many times based on Experience and not armchair pipe dreams.

    People that think that harvesting forests to feed boilers to generate Electrical power for their cities and factories are deliberately stupid. There is no cure for stupid….pg

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    Before you start a biomass plant, you must have planted and grown ten year’s supply if it takes we s ten years for the trees to mature. Then each year you replace that year’s trees cut down. If you do not, then you are increasing CO2. You might catch up the deficit at the end of the life of the plant, but by then the damage is done.

    The claims now about biomass are just wishful thinking.

  7. oldbrew says:

    According to alarmists the CO2 problem is now. Burning biomass increases CO2 output now, including when it directly replaces coal.

    Not much point in talking about ‘carbon capture’ at the same time as creating more of it.
    – – –
    Date: 14/09/18 Quartz

    Germany may have set laudable goals for its ambitious “Energiewende”—or shift to a low-carbon economy—but it is still struggling to free itself from fossil fuels, in particular electricity generated from coal’s dirtier cousin lignite. In the latest demonstration of this struggle, an ancient forest is about to be razed in order to expand what is already Europe’s largest opencast mine.
    – – –
    They wouldn’t be doing that if they thought renewables would be adequate any time soon, if ever.

  8. p.g.sharrow says:

    They are destroying a12,000 year old forest! LoL That is ridicules. The trees are at maximum 500 years old. After the mining is completed, the overburden will be placed or dumped into the exhausted cut and replanted by man or God and the forest will return. 500 years from now it will be the same as it is now except a 100 feet lower in elevation.

    Get real people. Coal, gas, oil in the ground are worthless until they are mined and used to create wealth. Left in the ground long enough they are destroyed or lost due to natural process.

    Waste not, want not. Tripling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would be a great boon to all life on this planet. Runaway Global warming caused by CO2 is a concept that was created by mental incompetents and is impossible. Never happened, never will.

    At some point the move towards Atomic process energy production will be resumed. It is the only real solution to Industrial levels of needed energy production. With enough energy production all other problems of wealth and environment needs can be solved…pg

  9. Ve2 says:

    So you ban the mining of trees that died 600 million years ago and cut down living forests to save the environment.
    Pure bloody genius.

  10. nickreality65 says:

    Politics, money, peer pressure and the lying, fact-free, fake news media’s censorship have completely corrupted science. Climate change has turned science/engineering/economics into full time bullshit factories.

    The Radiative Green House Effect theory contains a fatal flaw.

    For RGHE to perform as advertised requires the earth’s surface to radiate upwelling LWIR as an ideal black body, i.e. 1.0 emissivity at 16 C, 289 K, 396 W/m^2. (TFK_bams09)

    The contiguous presence of atmospheric molecules participating in non-radiative heat transfers through conduction, convection, latent renders impossible such BB LWIR, the effective surface emissivity being 0.16, i.e. actual 63 W/m^2 / ideal 396 W/m^2.

    The LWIR upwelling 396 W/m^2 does not exist – the GHG energy loop “warming” the surface and atmosphere does not exist – and the global warming and climate changes that are attributed to carbon dioxide do not exist.

    Three decades of careers, books, papers, research, seminars all go straight in the trash bin and the trillion-dollar climate change industry is instantly unemployed.