Thursday, June 20, 2013

It’s a bio-mess. Burning wood is a disaster

Matt Ridley
In the Energy Bill going through Parliament there is allowance for generous subsidy for a huge push towards burning wood to produce electricity. It’s already happening. Drax power station in Yorkshire has converted one of its boilers to burn wood pellets instead of coal; soon three of its six boilers will be doing this and the power station will then be receiving north of half a billion pounds a year in subsidy. By 2020, the Government estimates, up to 11 per cent of our generating capacity will be from burning wood. This is a really bad idea. It will cost a fortune, worsen air pollution, exacerbate dependency on foreign energy and increase greenhouse gas emissions compared with burning gas and maybe even with burning coal. All these are in direct contradiction of the Energy Bill’s ostensible purpose. Yet “biomass” is trumpeted as a key part of the Government’s strategy to keep the lights on and combat climate change. --Matt Ridley, The Times, 20 June 2013

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