I suggest a campaign about ...

The contribution of biomass to the EU’s renewable energy objectives for 2020

I have just read an article (http://www.euractiv.com/energy/biomass-insanity-may-threaten-eu-carbon-targets-news-511891) about using biomass to meet 20% of the EU's targets. The article states that the implications of using biomass for such a big percentage of our energy have not been looked into in enough detail. Why on earth are our government putting these proposals forward then?

The craziest thing about it is that it is going to encourage the felling of forests in order to supply biomass.....which will actually increase carbon emissions and will further add to our destruction of habitats, biodiversity and human livelihoods. Something we are doing across the planet on a daily basis which we need to stop rather than encourage!

Surely there are renewable technologies out there that can help solve our energy crisis without so many negative impacts. Does anyone know whether the Smart Grid is still going ahead? I say we put all our efforts behind this!

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    Tamsin CaruanaTamsin Caruana shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    6 comments

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      • Tracy ManfrediTracy Manfredi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It isn't nec the destruction of forests as other types of biomass such as waste crop ends curbals, sewage, animal hides remains etc basically anything that is waste from human animal or plant derived.
        I agree using green new growth or old forests is inappropriate provision of biomass and is what makes these plants arguably unsustainable in MT and LT.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        UK Government is already subsidising this - currently over 80% of our 'renewable' energy comes from biomass/biofuels, and the percentage will stay very similar as the total amount of RE rises hugely towards 2020.

        Massive new wood burning power stations, conversion of old inefficient coal power stations and lots of 'co-firing' to keep other coal power stations in service for longer. All actively supported by this government who care more about preserving a countryside free of 'ugly' wind turbines than cutting and burning forest in other countries.

        Biomass electrricity subsidies could be as much as £3bn per year in 2020. Most of it going to the big energy companies.

        E.On got planning permission today (5 April) to convert Ironbridge power station in Shropshire from coal to wood. Biofuelwatch estimates that in the next two years they will consume enough wood pellets to fill the Royal Albert Hall thirty times over. All imported - initially from N. America, where forests are being clear cut to satisfy the EU hunger for the cheapest and easiest technology that passes the feeble test of renewability in the Renewable Energy Directive.

      • Peter KilvertPeter Kilvert commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi Tamsin, you are absolutely right. Biomass is a quick fix for the Government to achieve the 20% renewable energy target by 2020. BUT, burning biomass produces 50% more CO2 than burning coal and 330% more CO2 than burning gas (per unit of energy). Burning biomass also produces much more fine particulate matter (PM1s) than coal and is a greater health risk than coal or gas. Burning biomass is NOT sustainable either. I SUPPORT A CAMPAIGN AGAINST BIOMASS. Pete Kilvert, Chairman, Breathe Clean Air Group, campaigning against Barton Renewable Energy Plant, Davyhulme, Greater Manchester, UK, and anywhere in the world.

      • Ben WellingsBen Wellings commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agreed Tamsin. There are many other options for renewable energy but as you say the crucial factor is that they are truly 'renewable' and don't, like biomass, drive large scale burning of perfectly good carbon sinks. It is as true for million year old oil as it is for a 100 year old tree. The EU needs to re-visit its definition of biomass as 'renewable'.

      • Ben WellingsBen Wellings commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agreed Tamsin. There are many other options for renewable energy but as you say the crucial factor is that they are truly 'renewable' and don't, like biomass, drive large scale burning of perfectly good carbon sinks. It is as true for million year old oil as it is for a 100 year old tree. The EU needs to re-visit its definition of biomass as 'renewable'.

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