Friday, December 20, 2013

[biofuelwatch] New article on biomass on Friends of the Earth blog

Honey, I burned the tree

Kenneth Richter

19 December 2013

Christmas is a good time to talk about trees. Are you worried about the fate of the six million Christmas trees sold every year in the UK?

If we assume that the average weight of a household Christmas tree is unlikely to be more than 20 kilos we are talking about 120,000 tonnes of wood per year.

Well, how about the 45,000,000 green tonnes of wood per year that the UK government expects to be burned in biomass power stations by 2020? That would be about 375 times the amount of Christmas trees assumed above and about 4 times the total wood harvest from UK forests for all uses (incl. paper, products & construction). And it doesn't include a further 16,000,000 green tonnes that will be needed for heating.

This is being sold to us a "green energy" but research has shown that burning whole trees in power stations can be even worse for the climate than burning coal.

So where will this amount of trees for wood-burning power stations like Drax come from? Most of it will be imported from overseas. Particularly from North America where some of most bio-diverse forests in the world are now being chopped, chipped and shipped to the European market; particularly the UK.

Witness in the video below (produced by the US Dogwood Alliance) how giant wood pellet manufacturers are cutting down US forests, turning them into pellets, and shipping them over to Europe for companies like Drax to burn for electricity. [Go to weblog to view video.]


So if you don't like the idea that for every Christmas tree 375 other trees are being burned in power stations please write to MPs in the Bristol area and ask them stop a new biomass power station from being built at Avonmouth.


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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

Your idea?