Report Claim: In retrospect, the burning of wood in district heating plants has resulted in climate saving

A new report from the University of Copenhagen shows that the burning of wood is significantly more climate friendly than coal and slightly more climate friendly than

FACULTY OF SCIENCE – UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN

Research News

ENERGY A new report from the University of Copenhagen shows that the burning of wood is significantly more climate friendly than coal and slightly more climate friendly than natural gas over the long run. For the first time, researchers quantified what the conversion of 10 Danish cogeneration plants from coal or natural gas to biomass has meant for their greenhouse gas emissions.

Heat plant

Energy production is responsible for a large part of Danish greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, more than 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions were released as a result of heat and electricity production (9.4 out of 48 million tonnes of CO2). Photo: Getty

A conversion to wood biomass (wood chips and pellets) by Danish district heating plants has benefited the climate and is the more climate-friendly option compared to coal and natural gas. These are the findings of a new report from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management.

The study is the first retrospective investigation by researchers of what a conversion to wood biomass has meant for greenhouse gas emissions at ten Danish cogeneration plants — and thereby the climate impact of replacing either coal or natural gas in favour of wood biomass.

Among other things, researchers calculated the so-called carbon payback period for each plant, i.e. how long it takes for the conversion to wood biomass to elicit a positive climate effect.

“Our results demonstrate that the transition from coal to wood biomass has had a positive effect on CO2 emissions after an average of six years. When it comes to the transition from natural gas, it has in most cases taken between 9 and 22 years, and in one case 37 years before CO2 emissions were reduced,” says Associate Professor Niclas Scott Bentsen of the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, who is one of the authors of the report.

Reduction in CO2 emissions

The researchers also looked at the total CO2 emissions from the three energy sources over a 30-year period, which is the life expectancy of a cogeneration plant.

Transitioning from coal to biomass resulted in a 15 to 71 percent reduction in CO2 emissions, while the move away from natural gas resulted in emissions reductions between -4 and 19 percent.

The fact that, in one case, emissions were -4 percent after 30 years as a result of the conversion, is partly due to the fact that, in relation to energy content, burning natural gas emits less CO2 than burning wood, and that this particular plant had notable changes in its product portfolio.

“When such large fluctuations in the figures occur, it is because the payback period and the amount of CO2 emissions saved are significantly affected by the type of fuel, where it comes from and other alternative uses of the wood,” says Associate Professor Niclas Scott Bentsen

Forestry residues are best for the climate

The 10 Danish cogeneration plants collected 32 percent of their wood biomass from Danish forests, while 41 percent was sourced from the Baltic states, seven percent from Russia and Belarus, and seven percent from the United States. The type of wood biomass used and the distance it needed to be transported factored into the carbon budget as well, according to Professor Bentsen.

“For the typical plant that was once coal-fired, but now using wood from around Denmark and only uses forestry residue that cannot be used for other products, the payback period was roughly one year. The 30-year saving was as much as 60%,” explains Niclas Scott Bentsen.

Wood has an enormous potential to displace carbon heavy construction materials such as steel and concrete and is therefore an important aspect of the green transition.

“Our study demonstrates that the extent to which wood is used for construction or other forms of production, where the long lifespan of wood can bind CO2, is even better for the climate than using it as fuel,” says Niclas Scott Bentsen.

FACTS:

The method used in the study includes an analysis of time series from individual plants that includes the pre- and post-conversion period from fossil energy sources to wood biomass. Among other things, the analysis included specific knowledge of the type of fuel used, where the fuel came from and what alternative uses the wood might have had.

Energy production is responsible for a large part of Danish greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, more than 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions were released as a result of heat and electricity production (9.4 out of 48 million tonnes of CO2)

Of Denmark’s total energy consumption, 16 percent of energy is generated from the burning of wood biomass. By comparison, 7 percent of energy consumption comes from wind turbines.

To reduce the carbon recovery period and atmospheric CO2 emissions, utilities should focus on using residual biomass (tree branches and crowns from logging or residuals from the wood industry that have no other use), biomass from productive forests, as well as reducing long transport distances.

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The project is funded by Danish Energy and the Danish District Heating Association. The project was followed by a follow-up group consisting of representatives from the Council for Green Conversion, the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, Concito and the Danish Energy Agency. The report is peer reviewed by internationally renowned researchers.

From EurekAlert!

117 thoughts on “Report Claim: In retrospect, the burning of wood in district heating plants has resulted in climate saving

  1. burning those life forms that absorb CO2 cannot be better for CO2 absorption. you don’t need any research, just an understanding of reality…ie not be brain dead.

    • BURNING WOOD IS NOT RENEWABLE BY A LONG SHOT
      http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/burning-wood-is-not-renewable

      Pro-logging interests use “Burning Wood is Renewable” as a slogan, a mantra, to assure others all is benign, because it helps save the world, fight global warming, are part of the “solution”, and thus deserves to get money via the Global Warming Solutions Act.

      Sources of CO2 of Logging Sector

      All of us need to be on the same page regarding the A-to-Z sources of CO2. Here is a list.

      1) Before logging, the logging sector has to be set up, operated, maintained and renewed, which emits CO2
      2) A wood-burning plant has to be built, which emits CO2
      3) The logging process includes maintaining the woodlot, culling, harvesting, chipping, and transport to user, which emits CO2
      4) Operating the plant requires electricity, diesel fuel etc., which emits CO2
      5) The combustion process emits CO2; in fact, emits more lb/million Btu than coal; coal power plants are up to 44% efficient, New England wood-burning plants about 25%
      6) The combustion process emits sub-micron particulates, which requires electricity for air pollution control systems, which emits CO2
      7) Delivering the heat and electricity to users requires electricity, which emits CO2.
      8) Heavy cutting and clearcutting releases belowground biomass decay CO2; belowground is about 20% of all biomass.
      9) Dismantling the old wood-burning plant and replacing it with a new one.

      Combustion CO2, about 56% + Decay CO2, about 14%, equals about 70% of A-to-Z CO2.
      It has the possibility of being partially renewable.
      All other items are like all other CO2, i.e., not renewable.
      They are almost never mentioned by logging proponents. See table 1

      • The logging industry claim is “wood burning is renewable” and therefore its combustion CO2 should not be counted (the EPA and IPCC are proponents of this fallacy), whereas, in fact, wood-burning is not renewable at all by a long shot.

        I have written extensively on the CO2 released just after clearcutting.
        This article has 5 examples of CO2 released, due to clearcutting
        http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/co2-emissions-from-logging-clear-cutting-and-burbing

        In northern climates, it takes about 35 years for the CO2 to get back to neutral
        The initial CO2 release, due to belowground biomass decay, is very high, and the decay is on-going for about 80 to 100 years.
        The released CO2 far exceeds any CO2 absorbed by the regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA. That negative condition continues for about 17 years.
        But to offset that negative condition, and get back to neutral, regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA needs to take place for another 17 to 18 years

        The decay CO2 is entirely independent from 1) combustion CO2, and 2) CO2 other than combustion. See above list and table 1.

        – Combustion CO2 of year 1 would have to wait for 35 years to start being absorbed by regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA, which takes about 80 – 100 years.

        – Harvesting and other CO2, due to: 1) logging, 2) chipping, 3) transport, 4) in-plant processing, and 5) plant operations other than combustion, etc., is like all other CO2.

        The Real World

        However, in the real world, loggers would come along, see 40 to 45-y-old trees on the HARVESTED AREA, and cut them down; veni, vidi, vici; i.e., the combustion CO2 absorption process, in effect for about 10 years, is CUT SHORT.

        The logging industry continues to claim, without blushing: “Burning wood is renewable”.

        • “Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly” and trees gotta burn. Humans have been extinguishing forest fires far too aggressively in the Boreal forest, resulting in senescence, and a “fire debt” that must be paid. With current technology this implies, of course, a concomitant CO2 debt.

          Forests absorb sunlight more than open land, particularly in the winter, so that fire debt is also an “albedo debt.” The planet is suffering from a dearth of open land.

          Yes, it takes work to cut and gather the wood, work that depends on burning gasoline and thus bringing more carbon out of the deep Earth. If that offends you, there are two solutions: bring back horse logging, or get Tesla to build electric wood harvesters. But for environment’s sake, we need to burn those trees so that the forests can get healthy again.

        • ” Combustion CO2 of year 1 would have to wait for 35 years to start being absorbed by regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA, which takes about 80 – 100 years.”

          “Biden said climate change posed “an existential threat to humanity” and that in eight to 10 years, the country would “pass the point of no return.”

          Hmmmm

          • SO…
            Burning wood (smoke particulates) produces less CO2 than Coal or Gas.
            Q) How much wood does a woodchuck chuck…
            How much wood is required daily?
            Can you sustainably grow a days worth of wood in a day?
            For how many Biomass facilities?
            If a biomass generator utilizes 500 acres of wood daily they would require harvesting 182,500 acres worth of forest yearly. If t then takes 20 years for that area to regrow sufficiently for harvesting, you would need 3,650,000 acres available for one facility. If it only takes 100 acres for the facility but takes 100 years to grow then it still takes 3.65m acres

    • Report is a prime candidate to be published in science magazine ‘The Climate Change Sophistry’
      (sophistry: the use of clever but false arguments with the intention of deceiving)

    • How many millions of acres of wildland will have to be converted to mono-culture tree farms in order to satisfy the needs of these wood burning power plants?

        • “Wildland” is a euphemism for dehumanized. The Wilderness Act of 1964 expresses this famously:

          “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

          Any patch of ground becomes “wilderness” or “wildland” when human are driven off it. Dehumanized is the defining characteristic. Wildland is not an ecotype. It can be desert, forest, grassland, or even ocean — if so designated by decree and enforcement. Wilderness activists state explicitly that any land acquired for “wild” purposes becomes wilderness after 7 years, even if the structures and fields of the former human residents remain.

          There is no such thing as real wilderness; wilderness is a myth. No land is “untrammeled by man”. Trammel means to hamper or steer, from the Old French tramail, a fishing net. Wilderness laws are extensive. What happens there is controlled and directed by humans, whether it concerns fire, animal life, or vegetation. All outcomes and consequences are due to human choices and influences.

          Historically, all land and animal and plant populations have been managed, manipulated, altered, and controlled by humanity for millennia. The biblical verses in Genesis describing “dominion” of man over fish, fowl, cattle, and all the earth are not commandments but recognition of fact. Any environmental analysis, historical or otherwise, that fails to include human influences is scientifically incorrect.

          It’s also true that today the wilderness meme is widely accepted by the ignorant public. The myth (superstition) has become fundamental to many antiquated scientific disciplines, political discourse, and law. It’s difficult to dispel the myth. Many (most) people are completely brainwashed to the concept of “wildland”. I mention it here for the few who are not; true believers are unteachable.

          • BLM was wanting to spend $ on marsh restoration. They were to dam the outfall from a large (drained) marshy area in efforts to return the area to it’s ‘natural’ wild conditions.

            “But this has been designated as a ‘wild and scenic river’ and no impoundments are allowed!”

            “Well”, they said (after being able to think about for a while), “the snowmobile bridge crossing that we are removing already restricts the (wild & scenic) river to some extent and we are just replacing it with a log jam impediment, so it is O.K., no big change.”

            “But the threatened bull trout that are essential to the natural wild environment… you will block passage!”

            “No, no, it is only a log jam impediment … the fish can get through. And it can break away if there are large flows, so long term, the fish can still migrate around.”

            “Do the railroad regulators know that you are planning to build a break-away dam across a ‘wild & scenic river” at a point 2,000 feet upstream from the railroad tressel/crossing?”

            No response.

            (Two years after the bridge was removed there was still portions of green treated (arsenic) beams in the water.)

            “Wilderness” & “Wild & Scenic” & similar are just variable terms that are used to justify peoples opinions or actions. The majority don’t know, the weasels like Greenpeace take advantage.

      • “Monocultures are exceptionally vulnerable to disease. An epidemic starts when a disease can exploit a genetic trait that allows unrestricted spread of a parasite”

      • “How many millions of acres of wildland will have to be converted to mono-culture tree farms in order to satisfy the needs of these wood burning power plants?”

        NONE! Get it? Pay attention. Forests aren’t clearcut to produce biomass. This idiotic theory keeps being repeated but it’s false. Most comes from thinning forests. Some from clearcuts- but those forests would be clearcut anyway and the dregs of the forests simply cut and burned on the site.

    • –“Our study demonstrates that the extent to which wood is used for construction or other forms of production, where the long lifespan of wood can bind CO2, is even better for the climate than using it as fuel,” says Niclas Scott Bentsen.–

      Logging for timber, is obviously good idea, generally speaking, and in terms of “climate saving”- nor does this need governmental subsidies. Unless not outlawing and restricting it, is counted a “governmental subsidy”. Or with governmental owned forests, forests have to be properly managed, and government spend a lot money and manage forest badly, so call this governmental waste of money poorly doing something as a governmental subsidy.
      Or forests are farming and no government has ever farmed anything successfully.
      Also big corporations are not much better than governments. Both tend to be “governed” by idiots who know nothing about forestry.
      Logging “bio waste” could be used, but general farming “bio waste” can also used, but if grow a crop to be “bio waste” it could be a problem.

      • One of the big problems with wood, in regards to carbon accounting, is that harvesting is deemed to be emitting 80% of the trees carbon as CO2 at the point of felling the tree, regardless of the use any proportional is put to. Hence any wood made into timber, or manufactured wood products such as plywood, MDF etc and incorporated into some use or structure which may endure for decades if not centuries, is simultaneously counted as having been instantaneously burnt or rotted at the very second of felling the tree.
        This completely distorts the accounting in the short to medium run, although in the long run, of course, any CO2 removed from the atmosphere by above ground biological processes recycles back to the atmosphere. For any given hectare of plantation forest, you have to follow the life cycle of any products over the successive crop rotations (which can be very short, 25 to 30 years in New Zealand grow a mix of products). What you end up with is an amount of CO2 that is permanently sequestered, effectively, but still able to be utilized for products.
        The other option, of course, is to plant a permanent forest of a very long lived species, and never harvest. This also reaches a nett equilibrium sequestration level eventually – the trouble with that approach is that the trees tend to be very slow growing, and so not particularly useful as a carbon offset, and, as always that land is no longer available to be utilized for timber products which could help reduce the use of CO2 intensive materials like steel and concrete.

        All of which highlights how ludicrous the whole carbon accounting games is, because its an attempt to measure an input to calculate the effects of a problem that only exists in the minds of a great many deluded people.

    • I agree – how in the world can they claim they saved on CO2 emissions when the trees cut down haven’t grown back yet? When the biomass plants and the wood fuel is not as efficient?, when it takes more work and co2 to deliver a given amount of energy in the form of biomass compared to even coal, say, because the wood is less energy dense, requires energy to form it into pellets, and in some cases is being shipped in from Baltic states and even the US? I applod them for getting energy out waste wood, but it should stop at that.

  2. More lies. Coal is nothing more than animals and vegetables (including trees) that died thousands or millions of years ago. If you want to burn wood today, and I have no problem with that, you have to cut down a lot of living trees which feed off CO2. Did these scientific experts miss Grade 7 science on their way to their PHDs?

    • Seems to me that mining and burning coal with its greater energy density and ease of transport and handling and then planting trees to offset the CO2 emissions, is infinitely more practical than cutting, transporting, pelletizing, and burning trees and then planting trees to offset the CO2 emissions.

  3. They only “save” emissions, because they assume that burning wood is “carbon free”, as defined by the EU

    In reality, burning wood emits more CO2 than coal into the atmosphere, as it is a less energy intensive source. Those emissions are only eventually compensated when the forest has fully regrown, which may take a century. Or may never happen, if nobody replants it.

    The idea that only a few offcuts is used is also untrue. Whole forests are being chopped down to supply European biomass plants.

    It is apparent that this report was written to satisfy the requirements of Denmark’s biomass lobby

  4. Well that is such good news. I am now completely convinced about the net benefits of mass burning of wood for community heating systems.
    All that difficulty with getting gas to flow through a big hidden pipe buried underground out of site just does not compare with the simplicity and environmental upsides of all those logging lorries and freight train loads of wood, being shipped to a chipping and pelleting plant, ready to be trucked and shipped to a community heating facility just a few hundred/thousands of miles away.
    Then there is the pesky issue of removal of burned product. I was never convinced about all that chimney distribution system. It can’t have been as easy as they made it out to be. Just allowing the wind to distribute fertilising CO2 into the wider society to benefit everyone, nah, just too complicated in my mind.
    What we need, is a system that requires lorry loads of burnt ash to be shipped from the incineration sites on a daily basis, following analysis and burial, if contaminated of course. Yes, that sound like a much more sensible option than using a chimney emitting known recorded product.
    Can I just say, the peer review teams have done a first class job too, by endorsing the findings. Good work right there, a lesson to us all….
    Signed Drax.

  5. Great comments (above)about not factoring the trees breathing in CO2 and out O2! Coal bed methane is a factor not included, coal beds give off methane, a (gasp!) greenhouse gas, so removing the coal, and burning it in a modern scrubbed energy plant, is a net positive. This whole report is written to support an unsupportable idea. The included comment about only utilizing the waste from logging is plain dishonest, as whole forests are under the saw, with wood chips/pellets the product.

  6. Only true greentards could argue that junk, clearly they got a Nick Stokes type involved in the definitions. You really have to admire the concept of a “carbon payback period”, if you say it fast enough and not think about the concept it sounds really scientific.

      • If the numbers they use to justify their scheme are right, all we should have to do is plant a bunch of trees to offset human CO2 emissions, right ? /s

        • If they were really trying to do something about CO2 instead of greenwash their fuel choice, it makes more sense to cut down the mature trees and bury them instead of converting them to CO2…./s

  7. And the authors of this Danish paper looked into the appalling consequences on human health of burning staggering quantities of wood/bio mass?

    Usual lack of joined up thinking so characteristic of the green subsidy mining lobby.

    Meanwhile in the U.K. we have the latest chimps and darts fantasy that we can have electric cars, hydrogen and wind all in the next ten/twenty years and not revert to a medieval society.

  8. I dont know about Denmark and whether they really do use only waste product – which noone could object to .

    In the UK I would like to do some snooping around at Drax and any indiginous wood harvesting sites in the UK.
    just to keep an eye on what happens.Any volunteers for helping . Anyone who knows where the wood comes in what companies are involved etc.. I am thinking of doing a sort of Michael Moore type thing . I can be contacted through Linkedin

    • alastair gray
      November 18, 2020 at 3:55 am

      We had a very interesting tour of Drax a few years ago. The guide gave us a personal tour and was very informative…he had been a former underground miner at the Selby coal field that Drax sits on top of and that used to fuel UK power stations. But now he had to refer to coal as “that black stuff”. He admitted that the whole thing was subsidy driven. I would thoroughly recommend the tour to any skeptics nearby.

      One thing I do remember was how he showed us different piles of biomass they had tried to use in trials as a fuel…in the end only the pellets from the US were suitable. Not just any old biomass will do it seems…

      I’d love to help out with the snooping but I live in New Zealand…

      • Hi Alastair,
        That is an interesting comment and it seems that the wood pellets from the US are from hardwood trees which generate much more heat and energy than softwoods as any one who has a domestic fire would know .
        I cannot understand the Greens here in New Zealand as they classify all our plantation logging as emissions when over 60% are exported as logs to Asia and a lot of processed timber is exported to the wider Pacific region .
        All our pine timber is chemically treated and lasts for at least 50 years out doors and well over 100 years in housing and other construction
        Do the greens in the US and Europe count the wood pellets as US or European emissions?
        Saw dust and waste timber is burnt in many saw mills to generate heat to dry our pine wood before chemical treatment .
        Our Radiata pine plantation forests are harvested from 26 to 30 years for timber and replanted the next year and the second crop usually grows faster than the first .
        Wood not suitable for timber is transported to paper mills but the rate paid is low and only covers the costs in a restricted radius so a lot of forest debris are burnt or left to decay.
        The rate to transport logs to the export port from where I farm is $45 nz per tone and the payment for logs at the paper mill is less than that .

        • Classifying logged trees as emissions is how the carbon accounting to comply with International agreements for Emission Trading Credits/debits works. Its nuts, but thats the rules of the game.

    • The logs being shipped off to pellet mills that I’ve seen in photos were not suitable for lumber. Anytime a forest is harvested for lumber, trees that are deformed, damaged, diseased, too small, wrong species, etc. will be left. For an optimally healthy forest, it is best to clear cut the whole thing and start over with a good planting. I suspect that is where a lot of pellet logs come from.

      Some logs come from forests specifically grown for pulp wood. Clear cut for pulp or pellets, it’s all the same.

      A neighbor sells logs to pulp mills. He’ll take any log I give him. He scavenges logs from storm-felled trees alongside roads. Next time I see him I’ll ask what he knows about harvesting for pellets.

    • Taking them at their word (with all the seriousness that deserves), if they truly only burn “residual biomass” or wood waste and select structural timber for building purposes (replacing evil concrete and steel), then California must rise up in righteous indignation!!

      In California, “residual biomass” is sacred habitat for endangered species and cannot be disturbed by man

      In the real world, “residual biomass” in a forest is factually known as kindling.

      Salvage wood takes a lot of energy to convert to pellets, whereas coal represents residual biomass neatly converted to convenient layers of high-grade fossil solar energy, easy to mine and easy to convert to energy.

      As Reagan said (paraphrasing), “The problem with liberals is that they believe so many things that just aren’t true”

  9. Sadly, whoever wrote the report for the University of Copenhagen is wrong in so many ways that the only comment really worth making is “Rubbish”. I wish that I had more time available so that I could have shortened this long discourse on the topic but I am too busy.

  10. It matters not just which country the biomass comes from, but what sort of wood and what sort of forestry produces it. That information seems absent from this article.

    coppiced wood, fast growing willow, waste wood and byproduct of commercial timber/sawmills is a lot greener than cutting down forest explicitly for wood pellets…

    • The reality is that hundreds of pellet plants are operating in the U.S. specifically to supply the UK and other European countries with ocean shipments of product from clear cut operations. Some of these plants secured tax incentives to build those units which means more fossil fuel intensive economic activity must offset this taxpayer expenditure. The push for tax incentives comes from the low margins of these operations and the need to prop them up with public assistance. It’s a cascade of bad public policy partly built on ignorance of all the effects and special interests.

      • If you drive from Atlanta to Augusta, the hiway is surrounded by forest. A couple of hundred meters back….all clearcut….you only glimpse it once in a while as you drive. Makes you feel like the 60 liters of fuel you burnt enroute is irrelevant.

    • And overall how much biomass derived energy can be produced from the sources you mention without commercial harvesting specific to biomass production?
      What percentage of global energy requirements can biomass realistically supply?

    • Ay Up Me Duck,
      Griff, the elephant in the room here is the effect this has in rural areas. Commercial explotation of wood has increased the price of firewood. It’s only in recent years that people in the UK have restarted using wood for domestic heating and cooking. In mainland Europe rural communities have never stopped using wood for these purposes, this had created a nice balance where supply and demand were roughly balanced resulting in reasonably stable prices. Now demand has increased and supply is being met by reducing stock, but already prices for a winter’s supply has increased. I’m told a lot of wood being harvested in France at the moment is being sent to China, but I don’t know if these is correct. Some of the demand is being met by clearing trees from fields for growing maize and other crops for methanisation.

      None of it seems to be particularly environmentally sound to me, we’re in for about 100 years deforestation as a minimum.

    • “coppiced wood, fast growing willow, waste wood and byproduct of commercial timber/sawmills is a lot greener than cutting down forest explicitly for wood pellets…”

      You know NOTHING about forestry and biomass. I do as a forester for 50 years.
      NOBODY cuts down a forests just for wood pellets. By saying that- you prove your idiocy.

      Many people are posting really ignorant comments about forestry. You should start by talking to experienced foresters who actually manage forests- who manage timber harvests- who sell SOME trees into the biomass market- who understand the issue. But no, too many just spit out whatever idiocy they can dream up the subject.

      • Hi Joe. Please take this opportunity of educating us folks here. You probably know little about geology, physics, chemistry or climate mechanisms. So perhaps you should have some consideration for those of us who know little about forestry. My question therefore is which forests in the USA are the source of wood from which wood pellets are made fro shipping to the UK’s largest electricity generating site, Drax? It would be great if you could tell us what percentage of the forest that is allowed to be taken and whether the thinning out that you talked about is practised. Regards Peter

  11. The focus on CO2 is just deranged nonsense, but apart from that, I find the burning of 32% (from Danish forests) wood stuff perfectly fine. This resembles what we previously did at out individual residences.
    The other 67% appears less smart, but the Danes may get the imported wood cheaply, who knows.

    The main thing is that Denmark still can produce synchronous stable power on demand.

    Despite Denmark’s 120% (6.19GW) electric power “coverage” from installed wind capacity, the 90% (4.25GW) electric power coverage from bio, coal, gas or whatever fuel is still absolutely needed together with electric power from Norwegian hydro, a bit of German coal and nuclear, and some interchange with Swedish hydro and nuclear.

  12. “Wood has an enormous potential to displace carbon heavy construction materials such as steel and concrete and is therefore an important aspect of the green transition.”

    Said the wolf to the three little pigs.

          • Strangely, that’s not true. What burns mostly these days is the contents of a building. With steel construction, the heat of the fire weakens any unprotected beams and the building collapses faster than a traditional wood building would do. The phenomenon has been well studied. example

            Unsurprisingly, building codes contain requirements that steel structural members are protected from fire. That said, there are lots of exceptions. Anyway, you won’t remain in a structure like a gymnasium or warehouse long enough for the steel roof trusses to weaken.

            The big problem is lightweight construction. Engineered trusses, both steel and wood, collapse a lot faster than heavier traditional beams.

            The bottom line is that, as long as the building and fire codes are followed, wood and steel are equally safe.

  13. WHAT do they think coal is? Seriously. What do they believe coal actually is? Huh? Did these people even have a basic understanding of geology?

  14. “Wood has an enormous potential to displace carbon heavy construction materials such as steel and concrete and is therefore an important aspect of the green transition.”
    Not too long ago everything was made out of wood, from train trestles to entire cities. Guess what happened to most of them. They burned to the ground and were replaced with steel and concrete.

    • That was largely because they were treated with creosote to stop termites etc. Unfortunately, creosote is also highly flammable. Old tech – there are actually fire retardants structural timbers can be treated with these days to reach fire resistance standards

  15. “Wood has an enormous potential to displace carbon heavy construction materials such as steel and concrete and is therefore an important aspect of the green transition.”
    Not too long ago many structures were made using wood, from train trestles to entire cities. Guess what happened to them. They burned to the ground, replaced by steel and concrete.

  16. The issue, of course, isn’t “carbon”, but rather, cost. Equally as important is whether it is sustainable. Common sense, and indeed all evidence points to the fact that using wood as your source material for electricity is neither economical (or not for long), nor is it sustainable. You quickly exhaust most of your local sources, and have to go increasingly further away for your supply. This both raises the cost as well as ensures needing to go increasingly further away, a self-reinforcing spiral. The rest is all hand-waving.

    • “all evidence points to the fact that using wood as your source material for electricity is neither economical (or not for long), nor is it sustainable”

      WRONG. If you did your homework- and talked to people who really know the subject and work in forestry, you’d know you’re wrong- but like many here, they don’t bother.

  17. The Western world is now accepting propaganda as fact. Much of science is bought and paid for and for just a few shekels any politically correct position can be easily proven by this new “Science”!

    • Most of the media today is bought and paid for and you can see it every day in their choice of articles and slants and key, omitted information. Paid media news is a partial replacement for a failed advertising business model. They are relying on past reputations and general ignorance to keep the current model going. Of course this model also assumes the eyeballs are generally too distracted to notice such tactics in daily operation. What’s the tally of MSNBC contributors who went off to join the Biden transition team?

    • Exactly!

      Although bio mass is scalable in many countries with lots of woodland. In any case it can deliver on demand from big synchronous generators or/and heat in nearby areas.

      This is in sharp contrast to wind and solar.

      • Especially true in Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and all the other areas of the world that are covered in lush forests.

  18. Wood-Burning is NOT Renewable by a Long Shot

    The logging industry claim is “wood burning is renewable” and therefore its combustion CO2 should not be counted (the EPA and IPCC are proponents of this fallacy), whereas, in fact, wood-burning is not renewable at all by a long shot.

    I have written extensively on the CO2 released just after clearcutting.
    This article has 5 examples of CO2 released, due to clearcutting
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/co2-emissions-from-logging-clear-cutting-and-burbing

    In northern climates, it takes about 35 years for the CO2 to get back to neutral
    The initial CO2 release, due to belowground biomass decay, is very high, and the decay is on-going for about 80 to 100 years.
    The released CO2 far exceeds any CO2 absorbed by the regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA. That negative condition continues for about 17 years.
    But to offset that negative condition, and get back to neutral, regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA needs to take place for another 17 to 18 years

    The decay CO2 is entirely independent from 1) combustion CO2, and 2) CO2 other than combustion. See above list and table 1.

    – Combustion CO2 of year 1 would have to wait for 35 years to start being absorbed by regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA, which takes about 80 – 100 years.

    – Harvesting and other CO2, due to: 1) logging, 2) chipping, 3) transport, 4) in-plant processing, and 5) plant operations other than combustion, etc., is like all other CO2.

    The Real World

    However, in the real world, loggers would come along, see 40 to 45-y-old trees on the HARVESTED AREA, and cut them down; veni, vidi, vici; i.e., the combustion CO2 absorption process, in effect for about 10 years, is CUT SHORT.

    The logging industry continues to claim, without blushing: “Burning wood is renewable”.

  19. BURNING WOOD IS NOT RENEWABLE BY A LONG SHOT
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/burning-wood-is-not-renewable

    Pro-logging interests use “Burning Wood is Renewable” as a slogan, a mantra, to assure others all is benign, because it helps save the world, fight global warming, are part of the “solution”, and thus deserves to get money via the Global Warming Solutions Act.

    Sources of CO2 of Logging Sector

    All of us need to be on the same page regarding the A-to-Z sources of CO2. Here is a list.

    1) Before logging, the logging sector has to be set up, operated, maintained and renewed, which emits CO2
    2) A wood-burning plant has to be built, which emits CO2
    3) The logging process includes maintaining the woodlot, culling, harvesting, chipping, and transport to user, which emits CO2
    4) Operating the plant requires electricity, diesel fuel etc., which emits CO2
    5) The combustion process emits CO2; in fact, emits more lb/million Btu than coal; coal power plants are up to 44% efficient, New England wood-burning plants about 25%
    6) The combustion process emits sub-micron particulates, which requires electricity for air pollution control systems, which emits CO2
    7) Delivering the heat and electricity to users requires electricity, which emits CO2.
    8) Heavy cutting and clearcutting releases belowground biomass decay CO2; belowground is about 20% of all biomass.
    9) Dismantling the old wood-burning plant and replacing it with a new one.

    Combustion CO2, about 56% + Decay CO2, about 14%, equals about 70% of A-to-Z CO2.
    It has the possibility of being partially renewable.
    All other items are like all other CO2, i.e., not renewable.
    They are almost never mentioned by logging proponents. See table 1

    Here is an explanation regarding Item 8

    Most people are familiar with the logging industry claim it harvests low value trees for burning, i.e., misshapen, diseased trees, standing deadwood, etc., called net available low grade, NALG, whereas, in fact, that is often not true, based on satellite and drone photos of clearcutting on harvested areas.

  20. Widespread Clearcutting Disastrous for Forests

    Vermont Clearcutting

    Here are some random Google Earth images of clearcutting in Vermont, before the proposed logging and clearcutting of the Green Mountain National Forest, GMNF.
    http://www.maforests.org/VERMONTCLEARCUTTING.pdf

    As you look through the plans, at the list of proposed acreage of each logging type, in each plan, it is worth noting “group selection” in USFS timberspeak, is simply a bunch of “smaller” one to two football field sized clearcuts, not in any sense what people think of when they think of “selective” logging. An example can be seen on page 15 of URL
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/108977_FSPLT3_5339483.pdf

    Also, the 15-year GMNF plan is set to expire in 2021. GMNF is pushing these long-term, “programmatic” projects to essentially tie its own hands, before it gets around to revising its Forest Plan. These projects have the real danger of pre-allocating lands to active management (including portions of inventoried roadless areas) before the forest goes through a proper Forest Plan revision process.
    GMNF is rushing to get these projects done while the current administration is in office. See URL
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gmfl/landmanagement/planning/?cid=FSEPRD605029

    New Hampshire Clearcutting

    Here are some random Google Earth images of clearcutting in the White Mountain National Forest, in NH, similar to what is planned now for the GMNF, though the plans for GMNF appear got be even more aggressive.
    http://www.maforests.org/WMNF.pdf

    For a view of what the logging will look like, see the identical “vegetation treatments” in White Mountain National Forest in NH
    http://www.maforests.org/WMNF.pdf

    Massachusetts Clearcutting

    Much of Maine has already been heavily cutover, and I don’t have any images of that, but in this report, the green areas show forests with greater biomass (i.e., larger trees), where much new logging is being targeted
    http://www.maforests.org/DFW.pdf

    Lots of Clearcutting Coming to GMNF

    15,000 acres, 12,000 acres of it is clearcutting
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/108891_FSPLT3_4658907.pdf

    About 6700 acres more logging in GMNF
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/97348_FSPLT3_2363593.pdf

    Thousands more acres here
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/103699_FSPLT3_3987566.pdf

    Look at the logging on just this one “project”:
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/97348_FSPLT3_3032534.pdf

    Burning Wood is NOT Clean

    Regarding the “cleanliness” of wood…
    http://www.pfpi.net/air-pollution-2

    High Asthma Rates in Vermont

    Vermont already has some of the highest asthma rates in the country
    https://learn.uvm.edu/blog/blog-health/asthma-rates-in-vermont

    Oregon, the Paragon of Clearcutting

    And for twice the fun, for anyone interested just to see how bad an unchecked logging industry can get, see this video from Oregon:

    • Willem your comments are very salient and we in New Zealand have the opposite problem. In the name of vilification of farming we are trying to make farmers pay for methane emissions from cows.

      The reality is that cows eat grass it grows again in the week that follows but the portion of the grass that is converted to methane only has a residence time of 5 or so years then back to CO2 and back to grass. So neutral on this measure.
      My argument is that if the farmers should pay for this residence time then its a one time payment where say a technology change would result in a credit if proven effective, but only once the wood chip industry also recognizes this concept of residence time which you very carefully detail.

      It does not fit the narrative so the religion ignores the story.

      • Well said Bill Treuren,
        Methane from farmed livestock is a non problem thought up by activists and accepted by governments without any thought or scientific scrutiny .
        As you have said it is a cycle and does not add one additional atom of carbon to the atmosphere over a time span of 5 to 10 years .
        This is the nonsense that convinced me that the whole global warming boondoggle is a scam.
        I have argued that enteric methane from farmed livestock should never be included in any countries emissions profile .
        The only weak reason that the warmist believers can come up with is that methane is 25 times more potent than CO2 . Which has been been recalculated at 7 times in studies in the UK.
        They then put forward the argument that livestock produce 90 million tonnes of methane per year world wide .
        So what ! it is cyclic and will never increase green house gas levels as it is only new sources of methane extracted from the earths mantle that can raise atmospheric methane levels .
        I have pointed out that the increase of methane levels are predominantly caused by a massive increase in coal mining and use in Asia with world coal use moving from 4.7 billion tonnes in 2008 to 8.2 billion tonne in 2018
        I ask why should any country take futile action to try and curb a non problem when other countries are extracting and burning coal at that rate ?
        The money that is being wasted on methane research in New Zealand should be put to much better use as any reduction in methane levels even across all farmed livestock across the entire world could never be measured in 50 years .

    • The comments and propaganda video about Oregon, “The Paragon of Clearcutting”, are completely false. It’s more apt to call Oregon “The Commie Dystopia of Lysenkoism”.

      There isn’t much clearcutting in Oregon because the Federal Government owns 65% of the forestland and has banned clearcutting, partial cutting, and any forest management at all. Instead we have catastrophic fires wherein millions of acres of highly productive forests incinerate. Did you miss the latest set of megafires with $100 billion in timber losses alone?

      Ecotards whining about clearcutting are directly responsible for total forest annihilation of trees, wildlife, towns, and lives. Urban know-nothings with political agendas and nutball notions who live thousands of miles away have destroyed Oregon’s forests that they have never seen and never will — all because of Communist government ownership imposed on communities they hate for no reason at all.

      Clearcuts grow back. Oregon has the strongest forest practice laws in the Nation. We invented tree planting. Your house is built of Oregon lumber from clearcuts, if you’re lucky. Those replanted clearcuts are largely impervious to fires. It’s the No Touch, Let It Burn, Watch It Rot Fed land that has been moonscaped, charcoalized, and snag patched by green weenies from Hell with malarkey theories and zero familiarity with the forests they rule over.

      While I’m at it, the “monocrop” paranoiac fantasy is more Lysenkoism and Commie propaganda. Can you cite one forest anywhere ever that died out from a “genetic parasite”? I can’t, but I can cite tens of millions of acres destroyed by “green” nonsense. If anybody needs to be Cancel Culture censored it is ecoloons.

      • I haven’t followed up on any aerials or anything else … so just guesses….

        I was spending some federal money a while back; to check the boxes appropriately, I felt I had to make contact about aerial spraying on a clear cut. I never got a response from the land owner, but the clear cut above Vida-Lea MHP stayed in my mind.

        As I drive by today, from the highway, it appears that that specific (now pretty green) clear cut was where the runaway burn stopped/slowed on the hillsides north of the river. Some clear cuts stop/slow wildfires.

        Somebody smarter than me can follow up on this specific instance….

      • Dead right re mono-cultures. There are many examples of natural monocultures – Beech forests in New Zealand comes to mind, also consider the grasslands, prairie etc.
        Plantation forests aren’t all grown from a single clone, like an apple variety. The trees are bred in families, and the genetic diversity of the species is carefully considered. Forestry is a science, give the practitioners a little credit.
        Not to mention that its only the Canopy strata that’s a monoculture – there’s a whole mix of seral stages going on under the canopy, much the same as any natural forest

  21. It isn’t what is said so much as how it is justified.
    I’m not sure, but these folks would probably pay top dollar for some ocean front property in Arizona. Can’t be too hard to convince them that California will fall off into the ocean any day now.

    • RHS: Ah ha; wood floats, another good reason to build with wood. California re-imagined as a floating state. Somebody please tell AOC and Biden.

      Cheers,

      Glen

  22. I may have missed it but so far, I cannot find any inclusion of the fossil fuel requirements to farm, ship, pelletize and reship wood products, nor the fossil fuel costs to dispose of the ash. Without considering the process costs, the study has no value.

      • And thereby lies the problem with wood biomass for fuel. Its a low energy density (by land area), saturated fuel, that must be transported to a central processing station, chipped, and dried before it can be burned. If not used for fuel at that point, it must be further transported to the power station. At least at that stage you aren’t carting excess water around.
        Unless you are very close to a large forest area, the economics rapidly dissipate. Not to mention, that I suspect things get very marginal in terms of Energy Return on Energy Invested.

        Unless, of course, you have some political reason to subsidize the whole process until the figures work out.

  23. “Our results demonstrate that the transition from coal to wood biomass has had a positive effect on CO2 emissions after an average of six years. When it comes to the transition from natural gas, it has in most cases taken between 9 and 22 years, and in one case 37 years before CO2 emissions were reduced,” says Associate Professor Niclas Scott Bentsen of the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, who is one of the authors of the report.”

    Wood-Burning is NOT Renewable by a Long Shot

    The logging industry claim is “wood burning is renewable” and therefore its combustion CO2 should not be counted (the EPA and IPCC are proponents of this fallacy), whereas, in fact, wood-burning is not renewable at all by a long shot.

    I have written extensively on the CO2 released just after clearcutting.
    This article has 5 examples of CO2 released, due to clearcutting
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/co2-emissions-from-logging-clear-cutting-and-burbing

    In northern climates, it takes about 35 years for the CO2 to get back to neutral
    The initial CO2 release, due to belowground biomass decay, is very high, and the decay is on-going for about 80 to 100 years.

    The released CO2 far exceeds any CO2 absorbed by the regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA. That negative condition continues for about 17 years.

    But to offset that negative condition, and get back to neutral, regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA needs to take place for another 17 to 18 years

    The decay CO2 is entirely independent from 1) combustion CO2, and 2) CO2 other than combustion. See above list and table 1.

    – Combustion CO2 of year 1 would have to wait for 35 years to start being absorbed by regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA, which takes about 80 – 100 years.

    – Harvesting and other CO2, due to: 1) logging, 2) chipping, 3) transport, 4) in-plant processing, and 5) plant operations other than combustion, etc., is like all other CO2.

    The Real World

    However, in the real world, loggers would come along, see 40 to 45-y-old trees on the HARVESTED AREA, and cut them down; veni, vidi, vici; i.e., the combustion CO2 absorption process, in effect for about 10 years, is CUT SHORT.

    The logging industry continues to claim, without blushing: “Burning wood is renewable”.

    • Darn those loggers. What a bunch of profiteers. Bad as coal miners. We should halt all logging. If you can go out into the woods and cut trees down, then you can learn to code.

      BAN THE BOARD. We can all live in mud huts, or concrete bunkers.

      Those lousy loggers make more CO2, I tells ya, and it’s going to fry the Planet big time. It’s Thermageddon acomin’ — the Hotpocalypse. Why won’t anybody think about the children? We’re past the tipping point. Mud huts for everybody! Turn off the power. Huddle in the cold and dark. Grab your ankles. The End is Nigh…

      Those darn loggers. Bad industry. Very bad. Ought to be shot…

      • So you want to shut down the “logging industry, Villy? Because of all the CO2 they make? What about the Petroleum Industry? Or the Steel Industry, the Cement Industry, the Auto Industry, the Agriculture Industry, the Cosmetics Industry, the Chop Suey Industry? Are there any industries you approve of? We’re dying to know, Villy.

        You wrote a post? All by yourself? What’s your computer made of? Where did the electricity come from for all your bits and bytes? Cow farts? And to think you did it while huddling in your mud hut!

        Do monocropping farmers make too much CO2? All those farm fields with a single crop growing! Must really tick you off. Better write a post about that, after dinner of course. Tax the hell out of them. Make it hurt. That’ll save the planet.

  24. The ash leftover from the combustion of wood can be used as fertilizer. The ash leftover from the combustion of coal is toxic.

  25. The 10 Danish cogeneration plants collected wood biomass from:
    32% Danish forests
    41% Baltic states
    7% Russia and Belarus
    7% United States.
    13% Unaccounted for

    …the typical plant that was once coal-fired, but now using wood from around Denmark and only uses forestry residue that cannot be used for other products…

    One has to read carefully. It looks like the 68% not produced in Denmark isn’t necessarily from just forestry residue.

    Beyond that a pie chart for the U.S. and the world of the forest products industry that includes a slice for wood pellets for power plants would be nice.

    Wood smoke has a wonderful aroma when you’re camping but a steady diet of it might not be so great, and just exactly what sort of bag house and electrostatic fly ash collectors for their wood power plants do they have in place? Natural gas doesn’t need all that extra baggage.

    • The fact that they have to import most of it indicates that this is NOT sustainable. And why are they even doing this if all those Danish wind farms are working so well.

  26. RHS: Ah ha; wood floats, another good reason to build with wood. California re-imagined as a floating state. Somebody please tell AOC and Biden.

    Cheers,

    Glen

  27. They will bring on a global ecological disaster. Biomass proponents paint pictures of sustainable tree farms, but the reality is it is much cheaper to clearcut virgin forest. Widespread tree farming will only come after cheaper sources are exhausted.

    I suppose the silver lining is that with the elimination of the forests there will be less rain, therefore clearer skies to improve the efficiency of the solar panels that will replace the forests, and, there will be less surface friction, improving efficiency of wind power. Now that’s a pretty picture for our grandchildren.

  28. Somehow I must have missed the calculations that covered how much renewable land would be needed to roll over the production of wood, for what 35 years, while what you burn today is being replaced. An annual rate of acres needed would be a welcome addition so we could multiply it by 35 to see how many total acres are needed to be harvested.

  29. “In 2019, biomass provided nearly 5 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) and about 5% of total primary energy use in the United States.”

    Stop it. We’ve been burning biomass for a long time. It’s fine. We have trees forever. It’s Okay to burn them and most of you don’t care about CO2 anyways so if you do, don’t talk about CO2. There’s a lot of bleeping jobs with this for states that only have trees and not coal, oil or natural gas. If a bunch of rednecks want to burn wood, be quiet. You can look and see where our biomass burning plants are located.

  30. For the first time, researchers quantified what the conversion of 10 Danish cogeneration plants from coal or natural gas to biomass has meant for their greenhouse gas emissions.

    Due diligence should have required this calculation PRIOR to converting the power plants, otherwise, what was the justification to convert?

    Perhaps the greentards use the ‘build it to make us feel good and damn the consequences’. They can then cherry-pick the good results and ignore the bad ones (much like they do with climate model runs)

  31. I do not “get” this. I worked for 34 years in the forest industry, kraft pulp mill, some as a Power engineer(Boiler/Turbine operator). I come from a forestry family heritage. I have a brother with a forest Resource Management degree. All my life experience screams balderdash over this study and its conclusions.
    1/ pellets are not made from forestry waste since real forestry waste (branches and tops) has low fuel value but high levels of important nutrients which need to be returned to the land as fertilizer for the next cycle.
    Pellets are made from sawdust and planer shavings with as little bark as possible. These can be used to make ldf, mdf, and hdf (low, medium and high density fiberboard) from sawdust and osb (oriented strandboard) from planer shavings. They are saleable byproducts, not necessarily waste.

    2/ Pellet manufacture requires energy investment in sorting, drying and pressing. The actual amount varies depending on the feedstock. This investment does not seem to appear in their accounting.

    3/ Up to half of the trees biomass is underground, most of which is left in-situ, rotting and creating methane (though returning nutrients)

    • Yep – my understanding is that by far the greatest source of methane is the activity of termites etc recycling cellulose back to bio-available nutrients – good old mother nature doing her own thing, no humans required.

      The thing that always gets me about the eco freaks is the sheer arrogance of imagining that we control much of anything at all, in the big picture.

  32. 1. Wood is renewable but over a span of hundreds of years assuming that the trees are replaced. Fossil fuels are also renewable but the span is longer, millions of years. However fossil fuels are used in the harvest and transport of the wood fuel.
    2. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and there is plenty of scientific rationale that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. We do not know what the optimum climate is let alone how to obtain it. But even if we could somehow stop the Earth’s climate from changing, extreme weather events and sea level rise would continue because they are part of the current climate. Saving the climate is rather far fetched.
    3. For those who believe in the radiametric greenhouse effect, the primary greenhouse gas is H2O and not CO2. Molecule per molecule, H2O is a stronger H2O absorber than CO2 and on average there is roughly 50 times more H2O in the atmosphere than is CO2. They are doing nothing to reduce H2O emissions. Their slight reduction in CO2 emissions over a very long time span cannot possible have any effect on the overall radiant greenhouse effect if it exists and hence no effect on climate.
    4. The AGW conjecture depends upon the existence of a radiant greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere caused by trace gases with LWIR absorption bands. Such a radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s atmosphere, or anywhere else in the solar system. The radiant greenhouse effect is nothing but science fiction so hence the AGW conjecture is nothing but science fiction as well. The idea that burning wood will save the Earth’s climate is also science fiction.
    5. So by burning wood in Denmark, the Earth’s climate has been saved so no one need worry about climate change any more. The IPCC should hence be disbanded. Thank you Denmark.

  33. What happens when there are no trees to cut down?
    If my memory serves me well, wasn’t there a ship building problem in England because there were so few good size trees to cut down for the ships?
    Which is one of the reasons why there are so few remnants of ancient forest in England.

      • If you lived on a small island and cut all the trees down to build ships it would take quite a long time to regrow the trees. In the meantime if your island happened to be on a latitude similar to the UK then with no trees to burn, to avoid losing your life due to hypothermia, you would need to use all but one of your ships as firewood. The final one would have to be used for your escape to another place hopefully not already occupied by people building wooden ships, or for that matter making charcoal from cut down trees for iron making. By the way Ragnaar we did lots of the last two things in the UK and just before we ran out of trees we switched to coal for heating, gas making and iron and steel making. It was a close call.

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