Biomass: The Burning Question

Posted: June 16, 2020 by oldbrew in Critique, Emissions, Energy
Tags: , , ,

What use is it? That would be the obvious one, when better alternatives not requiring ludicrously high subsidies are readily available.
– – –
A new report from climate change think tank Ember reveals the cost of burning wood for power, with energy billpayers committed to subsidies of more than £13 billion, including £10bn at Drax power station alone.

In addition to the direct subsidy, we estimate biomass generators are receiving carbon tax breaks of £333 million a year.

The UK has now left the EU, and there’s an opportunity to reassess carbon pricing – including in the design of the UK emissions trading system.

In this research, we demonstrate why the UK should abandon the carbon tax break afforded to large power stations burning biomass (mostly wood in the form of pellets or chips).

Unlike other large thermal generators, biomass power plants do not pay for their carbon emissions.

This is because biomass is assumed to be inherently carbon neutral under the EU Emissions Trading System and the UK Carbon Price Support.

That assumption, however, is not supported by the weight of recent science, or by data provided by power plant operators themselves.

As other countries consider biomass as a bridge out of coal, the UK can send an international signal that biomass must no longer be assumed to be carbon neutral.

Continued here.
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Ember report: The Burning Question.

  1. John Archibald says:

    “As other countries consider biomass as a bridge out of coal, the UK can send an international signal that biomass must no longer be assumed to be carbon neutral”.
    Huh? The Blond buffoon sending out a signal and the World taking notice? I think you mean the shafted hamstrung UK public sending smoke signals to the World saying Help Help beam us us TFU Scottie?
    I’ve a better idea; No destroying the forests, No Greenies in charge, No political lunatics glowing in the dark. The Black stuffs under our feet. So lets build high efficiency (>85%) Coal fired CHP in the cities for a fraction of the price and lets get kickin ass again – on cheap juice. Oh do I hear anyone saying; but what about the climate mate? Well my advice for all those who cant think is go have a word with Mydogsgotnonose, Joseph Postma Gerlich and Tseuchner’s et al – they should enlighten you to what’s really going on up there?

  2. oldbrew says:

    ‘The government has committed £13 billion to support wood-burning power stations but a study has found that it is relying on an outdated assumption that they help to combat climate change.’

    Crazy money 🙄

    Even if there was a way to ‘combat climate change’ as the vacuous slogan goes – biomass was never it.

  3. Gamecock says:

    You have to burn existing locked up carbon in trees to start the cycle. It takes decades to recapture it. Burning trees is not carbon dioxide neutral. It will always result in more CO2 in the atmosphere.

  4. Chaswarnertoo says:

    A better question would be ‘ Who pushed this idiocy through Govt.?’
    Can’t blame Drax for making a profit.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Weren’t there EU ‘carbon targets’ or some such, that had to be met or big fines were imposed? Biomass got a free pass. None of that nonsense applies to the UK in future.

  6. cognog2 says:

    “Deeming” biomass burning to be carbon neutral flies in the face of reality. It could only have got into the legal system by means of left wing political activists manipulating lawyers innocent of the science involved. The legal system has been duped. Heaven help us.

  7. Gamecock says:

    Duped? Or is colluding?

  8. oldbrew says:

    2020 / June / 16 / Folly: Germany Plans To Convert Coal Power Plant To Burn 100-Year Old Trees In Minutes!

    ‘A tree that takes 50 – 100 years to become big and stately, but then is burned up in a few minutes, can never have a favorable climate balance, no matter how you calculate it. Trees are the new coal, it seems.’

    A climate-obsessed politician even calls it ‘green coal’.

  9. Kip Hansen says:

    We have learned nothing, apparently, over the last 100 years. We did this clear-cutting of forests for wood to burn for power last century.

    In my area., Northeast U.S., nearly every area was clear-cut at one time or another to provide wood for building, burning, charcoal making — very few areas were spared, mostly only those inaccessible.

    It is incredible to me that we are still “burning things” for the energy contained — we could be using Small Modular Reactors and creating all the electricity we need – we could be rebuilding and upgrading hydroelectric installations (instead of tearing them down).

    The energy world has gone mad.

  10. ivan says:

    As I have said before coal is only concentrated biomass so I can’t work out what all the fuss is about. Why convert coal fired power stations at great expense to burn much less concentrated biomass which has a lower output than the original concentrated biomass? That appears to be putting the cart before the horse – I suppose they will learn when the country is reduced to using horse drawn transport.

  11. Pablo says:

    ivan: Brilliant!

  12. pochas94 says:

    Too many knownothings dreaming up climate policy. And too much of it gets imposed on hapless citizens.

  13. Adam Gallon says:

    “The UK has now left the EU, and there’s an opportunity to reassess carbon pricing – including in the design of the UK emissions trading system”
    Looks like you’ve missed the fact, that Borisconi has signed us up to even sillier targets than the EU’s looking at.

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