Drax’s renewable energy plant is UK’s biggest CO2 emitter, analysis claims

Reposted from NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

OCTOBER 8, 2021

By Paul Homewood

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h/t Robin Guenier


A government-subsidised renewable energy plant run by Drax is the biggest single source of carbon dioxide in the UK, according to new analysis shared exclusively with Sky News.

Drax’s Yorkshire power plant receives multimillion pound subsidies for burning woody biomass pellets to generate renewable electricity.

New research by climate think tank Ember said the plant is among the biggest sources of carbon dioxide and PM10 (particulate matter of 10 micrometres and smaller) air pollution of all EU power stations – when biomass emissions are included – more even than some of Europe’s dirtiest coal plants.

Yet the emissions are not counted towards the UK’s total.

The UK excludes these biomass emissions from its total count, because – like the EU – it treats bioenergy as immediately carbon neutral on the assumption that forest regrowth soaks up the carbon again. Advertisement

But recent science disputes this carbon neutrality, said Ember’s chief operating officer Phil MacDonald. In fact there is a “real risk” that biomass is responsible for “significant emissions” he said.

Duncan Brack, a policy analyst who has authored a report questioning biomass policy, said electricity bill-payers were “in effect paying to increase carbon emissions to the atmosphere”.

Drax claims to have reduced its emissions by 90% since replacing coal with sustainable biomass. A spokesperson called Ember’s interpretation of the figures “completely at odds with what the world’s leading climate scientists at the UN IPCC say about sustainable biomass being crucial to delivering global climate targets”.

The amount of pollution from burning wood for power is not disputed by bioenergy companies, but this analysis may fan the flames of the debate about bioenergy’s renewable status.

Critics point out that forests take decades to regrow and recapture all the carbon again, allowing warming emissions to accumulate in the atmosphere just when the world seeks to slash emissions by 2050.

In January the European Academies Sciences Advisory Council (EASAC) claimed that biomass technology is “not effective in mitigating climate change” and in February more than 500 scientists asked the EU to revoke biomass’s “carbon neutral” status.

“Regrowth takes time the world does not have to solve climate change,” the scientists wrote.

A 2018 study estimated it would take 40 to 100 years or more for forests to recapture the carbon emissions from burning the wood pellets, if ever, because forests are subject to hazards like disease and fires.

The paper’s lead author John Sterman, professor of management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, warned that assuming biofuels were carbon neutral could actually “worsen irreversible impacts of climate change before benefits accrue.”

His paper concluded that wood emits more CO2 per unit of electricity generated than coal because it is less efficient.

An energy department (Beis) spokesperson said it “did not recognise” Ember’s figures. They said biomass was key to government plans to slash emissions by 2050, and that the UK follows relevant guidance from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Drax continues to burn a small amount of coal. In 2020 its emissions from coal were 1.5 million tonnes (Mt) and from biomass – which Drax calls ‘biologically sequestered carbon’ were 13.3 Mt. But even without the coal emissions, its Selby plant would remain the largest single point source of CO2 in the UK and the fourth highest in the EU.

https://news.sky.com/story/climate-change-draxs-renewable-energy-plant-is-uks-biggest-co2-emitter-analysis-claims-12428130


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Some of us have been arguing this point for years!

Note how both Drax and the BEIS are simply sticking their fingers in their ears! “We don’t recognise these figures!!”

Not surprising really. Drax would be bankrupt without their renewable subsidies, which would presumably disappear if their “low carbon” designation was withdrawn. And the government’s decarbonisation strategy would be thrown off course, as Drax would then add an extra 3% to UK emissions.

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October 8, 2021 10:30 pm

If they shut down Drax, it’s Goodnight Vienna for UK grid,
It’s the biggest single power station in the UK.
Perhaps that is the intention?

Jim Simpson
Reply to  Leo Smith
October 8, 2021 11:40 pm

if nothing else, that would help bring the emerging UK energy crisis to a head sooner rather than later. Ideally from the end of Oct to 12th Nov 2021 would be a most ‘convenient’ time frame. Coincident, of course, with early onset of winter & serious cold spell; little to no wind to keep the UK’s wind turbines spinning & refusal by the Frogs to the extension cord across The Channel for access to their nuclear power since they’ll need it for their own French population. That might bring some ‘chickens home to roost‘, as it were, for participants at a certain Gabfest in Glasgow during that period…

M Courtney
Reply to  Leo Smith
October 8, 2021 11:55 pm

You are right. We cannot shut Drax.
So we need to do one of these:

A) Carry on and ignore this.
B) Acknowledge this is true and carry on anyway, with the subsidy.
C) Acknowledge this is true and convert Drax to other fossil fuel (gas or coal) as demanded by costs – removing the subsidy.
D) Close Drax and switch over to smaller less efficient plants that can be spun as cleaner because each has less emissions (Potemkin Power Plants).
E) Turn off the lights.
F) Any other idea that anyone can come up with this.

My prediction is that the UK government will do A for 6 months because they are always 6 months behind everything and then switch to B because Waffle.

Last edited 1 month ago by M Courtney
griff
Reply to  M Courtney
October 9, 2021 1:42 am

Convert it to gas.

Drax are always threatening to.

Gas still has a place in UK’s 2035 net zero electricity ambition.

HotScot
Reply to  griff
October 9, 2021 2:29 am

Gas still has a place in UK’s 2035 net zero electricity ambition delusion.

Bryan A
Reply to  HotScot
October 9, 2021 4:46 pm

“F” Any other ideas…
NUCLEAR

ResourceGuy
Reply to  griff
October 9, 2021 4:24 am

At this rate someone is going to discover the efficiencies of combined cycle gas plants In the UK, but I’m not holding my breath.

Paul C
Reply to  ResourceGuy
October 10, 2021 4:36 am

Unfortunately, my understanding is that due to the destabilising effect of intermittent wind, most of the gas generation capacity can’t run at combined cycle efficiency levels, and is forced to operate closer to open cycle efficiency. The constant ramping up and down to balance the intermittent destabilisers also causes mechanical wear, so shortens life, and increases maintenance costs.

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
October 9, 2021 4:47 am

Thats funny, you have been screeching for months that gas is destroying the climate, now you are all for it. Hypocrite.

DrEd
Reply to  2hotel9
October 9, 2021 10:34 am

The idiot greenies like griff couldn’t get to biomass fuel fast enough. It only generates 40-60% MORE CO2 than burning coal per megawatt, BUT IT’S GREEN!!! What complete fools. Keep those subsidies coming.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
October 9, 2021 4:59 am

“Convert it to gas.”

Does the UK have a gas supply? Or do you depend on Russia?

Is Drax the place that is sitting on top of a coal mine?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 9, 2021 8:56 pm

Yes. DRAX sits on a coal field, it’s why it was built there, and produces about 9% of the total energy use of the UK. But the UK still imports nuclear power from France and coal fired power from Poland. Not sure if the Russian gas line is operational.

Last edited 1 month ago by Patrick MJD
Bryan A
Reply to  griff
October 9, 2021 11:33 am

Griff, do the math…1+1=2 OK?

A 2018 study estimated it would take 40 to 100 years or more for forests to recapture the carbon emissions from burning the wood pellets

If it takes 40 years to “Sink” 1 years worth of DRAX emissions then it will take 40×40=1600 years to absorb 40 years worth. 40 years worth will be emitted before the first years emissions are recaptured.

If it takes 100 years to “Sink” 1 years worth of DRAX emissions then it will take 100×100=10000 years to absorb 100 years worth. 100 years worth will be emitted before the first years emissions are recaptured.

Either way your 500th generation kin will be paying the price for your insistence on DRAX being green

Ragnaar
Reply to  Bryan A
October 9, 2021 3:20 pm

The trees that Drax burns are planted before they are burned, not after. The carbon has all ready been stored. By this logic, you should not eat because it takes so long to grow wheat. All the wheat you eat will take one season to replace. You should not drink water because it takes so long to replace. We should not use natural gas because it takes so long for nature to make more of it. Ember is playing a silly game. We don’t have to.

Bryan A
Reply to  Ragnaar
October 9, 2021 10:33 pm

By that logic the carbon will never be absorbed into the sink if it can only be absorbed in trees that were “Planted before they were burned.”
Of course the Biomass was planted before it was burned

By 2010, the station was co-firing biomass. In 2012, the company announced plans to convert three generating units to solely biomass, burning 7.5 million tonnes imported from the United States and Canada. This work was completed in 2016[5] and a further fourth unit was converted in 2018

All harvested trees are currently older than the Biomass generation capability at DRAX (for the next 30 – 90 years).
OH wait, are you saying they’re burning older growth trees as biomass?
They will still be producing far more emissions in a year than is absorbed back into the carbon cycle in that same year … SO …
DRAX creates a net emissions increase and is NOT NET ZERO or Carbon Neutral.
And that is only 1 generation facility

Ragnaar
Reply to  Bryan A
October 10, 2021 8:33 am

I am starting the clock 60 years ago. The trees grew and then were burned. That’s net zero. You don’t get to start clock now any more than I get to start it 60 years ago. You are not the clock czar and Ember is not the clock czar. You can never do anything that takes a long time. Because your reward is not instant. The whole argument is a stupid word game abusing accounting to get the answer one wants. That’s what Ember is. We don’t have to be that just because we don’t like wood burning.

Bryan A
Reply to  Ragnaar
October 10, 2021 2:51 pm

I’m starting The clock when it matters…When DRAX started burning trees 2010…
The emissions released from then to now have yet to be absorbed by the carbon sinks. DRAX is a net CO2 increase not net ZERO.
If it takes 40 years for 1 single years emissions to be captured, and if DRAX stopped burning trees today, it will still be 390 years for the emissions to be back to net ZERO
Every year DRAX burns trees adds 40 years to the Net Zero end date

Greg
Reply to  M Courtney
October 9, 2021 4:20 am

His paper concluded that wood emits more CO2 per unit of electricity generated than coal because it is less efficient.

Bleedin obvious to anyone who has ever had an open fire. There’s far more energy in coal than wood.

Since conversion to gas is far more than just “conversion” it’s completely new plant, the obvious thing is to convert it back to burning coal which it always used to be.

That will make a few green heads explode as they are forced to admit “biomass” is a massive lie they have been playing along with because it sounds nice.

Chopping down mature forest instead of burning dead fossilised trees has to be biggest unintended consequence of the enviro’s stupid “save the planet” mantra. It used to be “save the trees” now they are destroying forests on an industrial scale.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Greg
October 9, 2021 5:02 am

“now they are destroying forests on an industrial scale.”

It’s insanity. Common sense has left the building.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  M Courtney
October 9, 2021 5:10 am

M Courtney: You forgot:
G) denounce anyone who points out Drax’s excessive CO2 emissions as a shill for fossil fuels and a climate change denier, and accuse any site that publishes such claims of “misinformation”.

Phillip Bratby
October 8, 2021 10:50 pm

It takes a few minutes to burn a tree. It takes many years to grow a new tree. This is obvious to everybody except politicians and the media (hint – the BBC).

Lorne WHITE
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
October 8, 2021 11:26 pm

CO2 is used by all plants to grow leaves, stems, flowers, etc. WUWT articles have often noted that plants & forests have grown worldwide as CO2 has moved past 180 to 450+ ppm atmospherically.

Too bad the above article didn’t link to the Ember and EASAC studies to see its calculations, rather than just read an MSM pseudoscience story from Sky News. (Ember shows no calculations in its article, just quotes EASAC without link or discussion.)

I was expecting the issue to be about the CO2 generated in the making and transporting of wood pellet fuel. Further, perhaps there’s debate over how quickly CO2 burnt today is absorbed by plants – tomorrow? next week? decade? century?

Hmmm.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lorne WHITE
Greg
Reply to  Lorne WHITE
October 9, 2021 4:23 am

Also how much energy goes into DRYING the wood. It is not done by natural outside drying, it’s done in kilns.

It takes as much energy to dry wood as is available from burning it. That is why half dried wood burns without giving off heat.

Unless it is just stocked and air dried the net energy balance is negative.

Where is that CO2 accounted for ?

Last edited 1 month ago by Greg
Reply to  Greg
October 9, 2021 7:29 am

You also have to transport the wood mass to the pelletizing site and then pelletize it. I doubt these tasksare accomplished by renewable energy sources in the US.

tygrus
Reply to  Lorne WHITE
October 9, 2021 5:49 am

Additional vegetation from CO2 fertilisation has only captured a small fraction of the total human emissions each year. By 2100, we could probably get away with 20% of current emissions as it could absorb >30% of current emissions (ie.reduce CO2 ppm from atmosphere). It would be interesting to calculate the real estimates.

Woodchip should take 10yr estimate, then in 10yrs time they can estimate the next 10yr offset. Many schemes are estimating for 30yrs but the lack of care, lack of fire suppression infrastructure/care/people it’s not there in 10yrs time. They also go bankrupt a lot.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
October 9, 2021 1:29 am

And Greens

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
October 9, 2021 4:27 am

Tree farming involves fertilizer. I wonder where that comes from. Don’t forget the mechanized equipment for trimming, harvesting, and shipping.

James H
October 8, 2021 10:54 pm

Whenever you point out a simple and obvious fact, that the biomass pellets burn in a short time but regrowth takes decades – this should be plainly obvious and non-controversial – all of a sudden nature becomes a democracy and supposedly responds to how many scientists believe a certain idea. Kind of like global warming.

Jon R
October 8, 2021 11:26 pm

Go Drax Go, everything breathing co2 will rejoice!!

SxyxS
Reply to  Jon R
October 9, 2021 1:51 am

Drax sounds like the name of a Bond villain.

bonbon
Reply to  SxyxS
October 9, 2021 4:48 am

Moonraker, and Drax is played by a French actor.
And noting French relations were torpedoed by AUKUS, what will happen now at Hinckley-C where EDF is waiting?
https://www.ft.com/content/7c3a4e77-9889-43b4-a7fa-1bbb5b6bd985

Donnée moi un break! Is BoJo going for a Clean Break, not just Brexit, on his way to Global Britain? If this goes on Britain will leave orbit, sun-ward!

Last edited 1 month ago by bonbon
Tom Abbott
Reply to  bonbon
October 9, 2021 5:07 am

“And noting French relations were torpedoed by AUKUS”

Biden wasn’t aware of this deal, according to Climate Czar John Kerry. What did Boris know?

October 8, 2021 11:53 pm

It is the particulate emissions that bother me.
That is also my objection to those fashionable wood burning heaters.
The smells take me back to the smoky chimneys of the 1950s and the harm they caused to public health.
Greenies really are stupid.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
October 9, 2021 2:53 am

There are wood-burning stoves that actually burn the smoke before it exits up the chimney. We had such a stove in Virginia, made of soapstone in New Hampshire. I loved it and wish I could get one here in Portugal.

https://www.woodstove.com/

Greg
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
October 9, 2021 4:34 am

In the 50s the smoke was from domestic coal burning. That stank and contained a lot of pollutants since totally unfiltered.

All the recent focus on PM10 and PM2.5 is just a underhand way to put the final nail in the coffin of the internal combustion engine.

They looked at what they produce, then decided to campaign to ban it by ever more stringent regulation.

The end game is always the same: reduce population’s ability to have autonomous powered transport.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
October 9, 2021 5:15 am

Wood-burning Stoves come in handy when it is cold and the electricity is down.

A wood-burning stove has saved my life on more than one occasion in such circumstances. It was the only source of heat I had. Fortunately, I have all the wood I can burn right here.

It’s good to know my wood-burning stove is CO2 neutral.

Doonman
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 9, 2021 10:17 am

Millions of acres of forest fires in the US west is carbon neutral too. It goes right along with saying that large hydro power is non renewable power, which they also do.

But if there is a “spare the air” day in winter during a cold temperature inversion, then wood heating is banned because its unhealthy to breathe and will kill you.

yirgach
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 9, 2021 12:42 pm

I have 10 acres of woodland and a wood burning stove, it is a true lifesaver when the power is out and it’s -10F, has a nice flat cooktop also. It is now illegal for me to sell this stove (manufactured in 1977) because it does not meet modern EPA requirements for air pollution. I have borrowed the test equipment and measured both CO2 and particulates. The stove does meet the current EPA requirements if you run it the way it’s supposed to be used, that is with a hot fire, 500-600F stovepipe temp, no smoldering allowed. It is a Vermont Castings Vigilant, 295 lbs of raw cast iron fury.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  yirgach
October 10, 2021 4:44 am

My wood burning stove is a 1970’s model, too.

I live in a rural area and have been iced in, or snowed in, on more than one occasion and my wood-burning stove has kept me in the game.

We had an ice storm in 2007 that paralyzed the entire State. I listened to the fall of ice-covered tree limbs all day long, one crash after another, and started wondering if I would have any trees left after it was over. it was the worst ice storm I’ve ever seen. We don’t want any more of those!

fretslider
October 9, 2021 12:39 am

Creative accounting is what they do and the latest wheeze is…

“ Green levies WILL be added to your gas bill: Families face £100 surcharge under plan to cut emissions by phasing out conventional boilers by 2035”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10073985/Families-face-100-surcharge-plan-cut-emissions-phasing-conventional-boilers-2035.html

We should be fracking…

Greg
Reply to  fretslider
October 9, 2021 4:41 am

What the hell is wrong with natural gas, it’s the cleanest source of energy known to man !!

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Greg
October 9, 2021 9:32 am

What’s wrong with natural gas? It’s too abundant and useful, hence the need to get rid of it.
Without cheap energy all those pesky humans will go away

DrEd
Reply to  Greg
October 9, 2021 10:42 am

Gas is good but nuclear is the better and long term answer.

Climate believer
October 9, 2021 12:43 am

 “…in February more than 500 scientists asked the EU to revoke biomass’s “carbon neutral” status.”

So what are we waiting for? we get told over and over to just follow the “science”, well?

…..oh, are these not government doxa approved scientists? they must be the troublesome ones that actually do science.

What a farce.

Henry Keswick
October 9, 2021 1:10 am

The exclusion from emissions calculations of the output from Drax is nothing short of fraudulent but hey … with Western governments hell bent on decarbonising no matter what the human or financial cost anything goes! The only surprise is how long it’s taken for this particular scam to become newsworthy.

Reply to  Henry Keswick
October 9, 2021 2:54 am

Same as NZ declaring that its CO2 emissions from sheep and agriculture “don’t count”.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
October 9, 2021 3:34 am

Isn’t “agriculture” pretty much universal? And if some people want to continue the farce about CO2, shouldn’t the nations consuming food cover the cost of dealing with any CO2 produced in its manufacture? They could buy the carbon credits, and give them to the producers. Or otherwise the producers might to decide to stop producing – that would satisfy those Green maniacs.
You might deduce that I am in New Zealand!

Eric Vieira
October 9, 2021 2:20 am

Many European countries including Germany have failed to secure energy reserves (LNG, coal, Diesel fuel) for the upcoming, possibly harsh winter. If the predicted strong La Nina occurs, this will mean power shortages, and even people with oil heaters won’t be able to heat their homes. I just hope if this happens, that people will then realize that they should throw all this useless green virtue signaling out the window …

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Eric Vieira
October 9, 2021 4:40 am

I’ve predicted this before on wuwt. The combination of policy expenditures based on the global warming dogma and reality moving in an opposite direction with cyclical cooling is worthy of criminal penalties for the perpetrators.

Eric Vieira
October 9, 2021 2:30 am

I think the debate was convincingly presented in “Planet of the Humans”.
Biomass burning is not the way to go.

son of mulder
October 9, 2021 2:58 am

Leaving a tree in the ground means it’s taking CO2 out of the atmosphere. Cutting it down and burning it means it is no longer taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and is emitting CO2 to the atmosphere. I’m at a loss to understand how that is green. By analogy one can take coal out of the ground and burn it, yes it puts CO2 into the atmosphere but doesn’t stop absorbing it. And any argument that the tree can be replanted is no answer as one can plant a tree if coal is burnt.

fretslider
Reply to  son of mulder
October 9, 2021 3:39 am

“Leaving a tree in the ground means it’s taking CO2 out of the atmosphere. Cutting it down and burning it means it is no longer taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and is emitting CO2 to the atmosphere. I’m at a loss to understand how that is green. “

Well, for a start a tree is not fossilised, and you can grow another tree – you have to ignore the hopelessness of the differing time frames. It doesn’t take long to burn a tree, it takes a good 20 years to grow one to a decent size. Maybe that’s where the credits come in?

The UK has only just (allegedly) left the EU. Our laws, until they are rewritten, are still based on the laws that applied before leaving – EU Directives – and the rules are:

“Under EU legislation, biomass is carbon neutral, based on the assumption that the carbon released when solid biomass is burned will be re-absorbed during tree growth. “

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2015/568329/EPRS_BRI(2015)568329_EN.pdf

Reality shows that the newly liberated UK Parliament is determined to outdo the EU when it comes to implementing the Great Reset.

Banning ice cars..

EU 2040

UK 2030

But then, Boris was put in charge to lose the referendum, not win it.

observa
October 9, 2021 3:22 am

Wood no good for particulate matter either Draxula-
‘Eco’ wood stoves emit 750 times more pollution than an HGV, study shows (msn.com)
It’s slaughtering 40,000 Europeans a year according to the computer mod…..ahh… forget it.

observa
Reply to  observa
October 9, 2021 3:50 am

PS: Yes folks that’s Bob Brown ex Oz Greens leader wot didn’t like unsightly wind turbines in Tas with the killer smoke coming out his chimney-
The most ———-* man in Australia (smh.com.au)

Antonym
Reply to  observa
October 9, 2021 5:08 am

This they should have known from Western NGO projects to improve indoor stoves in the Third World a few decades ago.

willem post
October 9, 2021 3:49 am

EXCERPT from:

CO2 OF BURNING WOOD IS PARTIALLY ABSORBED OVER 40-100 YEARS
http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/is-burning-wood-co-2-neutral

East Europe and the US Southeast still have significant areas with forests. Starting about 2005, major parts of these forests have been harvested by means of clear-cutting. In 2016, about 6.5 million metric ton of wood pellets will be shipped from the US Southeast to Europe for co-firing in coal-fired power plants. 

The EU has declared these coal plants in compliance with EU CO2/kWh standards, because biomass is renewable and the CO2 of wood burning is not to be counted., and “Burning wood is CO2-neutral”.
 
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=20912
https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wood-pellet-biomass-pollution-FS.pdf

Manufacturing pellets requires input energy of about 115 units, and shipping pellets to European coal plants requires about 10 units, for a total of 125 units to have 100 units of pellet energy fed to a coal plant; the CO2 emissions of pellet burning is declared CO2-neutral, and the other 25% of CO2 emissions is not mentioned. 

Most US states have significant areas covered with forests. As part of renewable energy programs, these forests are seen as useful for producing thermal and electrical energy. By using the mantra “Burning wood is CO2-neutral”, the CO2 from wood burning, and associated activities, is ignored, and thus not included in a state’s overall CO2 emissions. 

Forests, other biomass and oceans, acting as CO2 sinks, absorb atmospheric CO2 from any source. Those sinks are working at full capacity. As a result, the CO2 they cannot deal with has been building up in the atmosphere for at least the past 100 years. 

It is irrational to make the claim “burning wood is CO2-neutral, because biomass growth is absorbing the wood-burning CO2”. Such a claim ignores the sinks are working at full capacity. There is no spare forest area reserved for absorbing any increase in wood-burning CO2.

CLEAR-CUTTING OF FORESTS

Clear-cutting is extremely damaging to soils, because of leaching out of nutrients released by dead underground biomass. When most of the US northeast was clear-cut in the 1800s (Vermont lost 75% of its forests in a few decades), nutrients leached out and soils eroded into streams killing fish spawning habitats. 

That environmental destruction was followed by acid rain starting around the 1950s, which had a similar effect as clear-cutting regarding nutrients leaching out, such as calcium, a vital nutrient for biomass growth. The regrown forest, with a significant percentage of spindly, sickly trees that have short lives, can be only a pale copy of what was before. 

With continued logging, it is likely the forests will never be as robust as before, unless forest soils are continuously fertilized by cutting dead/misshapen trees, chipping them and spreading the chips on the forest floor for fertilizer, i.e., remediation.

Vermont state government allows clear-cutting “events” of up to 40 acres “without a permit”; there is no statewide annual limit of such events. Considering the various known historical damages of clear-cutting, one would think Vermont would not allow it at all.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/24/protected-forests-in-europe-felled-to-meet-eu-renewable-targets-report 

NOTE: In the 1600s – 1700s, Vermont’s lakes and rivers were teeming with fish, according to settlers’ accounts. Eroded soils damaged/buried most of fish spawning grounds, due to the clear-cutting in the 1800s. A mere semblance of former fish populations is maintained by annual stocking of rivers by state fish hatcheries.

NOTE: Traditional biomass includes wood, agricultural by-products and dung. They usually are inefficiently burned for cooking and heating purposes. In developing countries, such as India, traditional biomass is harvested in an unsustainable manner and burned in a highly polluting way. It is mostly traded informally and non-commercially. It was about 8.9% of the world’s total energy consumption in 2014.
http://www.ren21.net/resources/publications/

DrEd
Reply to  willem post
October 9, 2021 10:56 am

The greening of the earth disproves your statement that “There is no spare forest area reserved for absorbing any increase in wood-burning CO2.” The “best” numbers say that half of the CO2 from burning fossil fuels is used by natural processes. And that’s before equilibrium has been reached.

Willem Post
Reply to  DrEd
October 9, 2021 11:20 am

The atmospheric CO2 increases each year.
Would that, and other outcomes, be the net result of forces seeking equilibrium?

Peta of Newark
October 9, 2021 3:53 am

Drax is the actual realisation of a Doomsday Machine
period

Its perpetrators will Rot in Hell
I’d normally offer a grain of sympathy by suggesting they ‘wrap up warm’ as its actually very cold in there, but this time, I make exception.

pigs_in_space
October 9, 2021 4:05 am

looney tunes from Ingraham!

Stephen Skinner
October 9, 2021 4:20 am

like the EU – it treats bioenergy as immediately carbon neutral on the assumption that forest regrowth soaks up the carbon again.”
“Never ASSUME, because when you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME.” 

ResourceGuy
October 9, 2021 4:21 am

There seems to be a conserted effort to hide these effects with delayed evaluation of the obvious and exclusion of the full transatlantic carbon accounting. Just don’t call it concern for the planet when it operates in this nationalistic policy that includes tax incentives. Drax is opening more pellet plants as we speak with tax incentives on both ends of the policy distortion.

ResourceGuy
October 9, 2021 4:32 am

Drax would be shut down by EPA for it’s particulate emissions alone in the US. Instead we give tax incentives for the low value wood pellet projects and don’t count the emissions from harvesting and trucking. Stupid

ResourceGuy
October 9, 2021 4:45 am

There should be travel warnings issued for Yorkshire and the UK because of this fake green particulate monster.

2hotel9
October 9, 2021 4:50 am

Of course it is. Quinn’s 1st law, leftists always create the exact opposite of their stated intent.

Tom in Florida
October 9, 2021 4:57 am

And the asteroid Apophis will slam into the Earth in 2036. We are all going to die anyway so who cares.

Doonman
Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 9, 2021 10:24 am

All of my relatives never make it past 90 years old. Every single one of them on both sides of my family. I know this from doing the family geneaology.

So yes, we are all going to die someday. But its a real safe bet for me to never plan on living past 90 no matter how much government wants me to.

fretslider
October 9, 2021 5:23 am

“terrorism all over the place. Daesh…”

I’m always suspicious of people who use that term.

It may interest you to know that between January 2002 and December 2020 there were 40,553 attacks in as many as 62 countries in which 255,186 people were killed and 322,883 were injured.

Over half a million people and all in the name of islam.

So far this year the scores are 1,796 attacks in 46 countries; 9,307 people killed and 8,163 injured.

https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/attacks/attacks.aspx?Yr=2021

You missed out so many like Al Shabaab, Boko Haram etc

Last edited 1 month ago by fretslider
Mark ingraham
Reply to  fretslider
October 9, 2021 1:57 pm

Yes, daesh is nato.

Duane
October 9, 2021 5:44 am

This is age old trick, “Heads I win, tails you lose.”

Which only fools the dimwits.

David Sulik
October 9, 2021 6:11 am

Coal is biomass.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  David Sulik
October 9, 2021 9:37 am

And oil
And gas

Betapug
October 9, 2021 6:33 am

2019 NASA paper summarizing the 5 year analysis of the 0C0 2 satellite mapping of the whole earth CO2 sources and sinks found that they had been wrong all along, the Amazon and other forests were net sources of CO2 and methane, not sinks. Surprise!

October 9, 2021 6:47 am

As a consulting forester in my own business helping private landowners manage their forest land, I’m a big supporter of increasing markets for forest biomass so we can practice great silviculture although I think the UK would be better off burning coal or natural gas.
In MA, 60-70% of the timber is low grade junk. Everybody wants the nice timber but we need to reduce the amount of junk timber otherwise our forests will continue to be degraded by destructive highgrade logging (taking the best and leaving the rest). Thanks to biomass markets, I’ve been able to improve the health and productivity of over 10,000 acres. Support a new Forestry Deal for MA Landowners – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=MikeLeonardConsultingForester&set=a.4179928622087279

PaulH
October 9, 2021 7:16 am

Yes, but Drax emits good CO2, because it’s from renewables. 😉

Josh
October 9, 2021 7:22 am

The US ought to count the wood pellets it’s producing as negative CO2 (it is after all removing CO2 from the air and capturing them in wood which they then ship to the UK). With a stroke of an accountants pen Biden could ‘reduce’ the CO2 output of the US.

Then we’d have the funny situation of the UK counting its burning of the wood as havibg zero impact on CO2. With a few more international shipments of wood pellets we could get to bet zero really easily!

Of course, Greta might be able to work out something is amiss and shame Boris about his CO2 accounting, but the quicker the population realises the whole thing is a farce the better.

October 9, 2021 7:25 am

To me the irony is particulate pollution is within the definition of what the US EPA was created to address, and it took legal activists to distort the concept of “pollution” to include CO2 using debatable reasoning.

Now they feel they can ignore the pollution that has real health impacts TODAY!

October 9, 2021 9:29 am

Here in South Africa we are happy if we have power. Never mind that it comes from burning coal.
Yet, the uneducated want to replace this energy with green energy.
I am trying to set them straight,

The Green Illusion | Bread on the water

Rick C
October 9, 2021 9:43 am

I have 100 trees on my property. Every year I cut down the two oldest trees for firewood for the next winter and plant two seedlings. Over the next year the 100 trees grow and easily replace the mass of the two trees I burned. In 5, 10, 50 or 100 years, this process would add no net CO2. It is sustainable. Now if someone cuts down 50 of these trees this year, chips them up and burns them in a power plant and does the same next year, that is not sustainable. You could scale up what I do I suppose, but you’d have to control and manage a pretty large forest to operate a gigawatt scale power plant sustainably.

Ragnaar
Reply to  Rick C
October 9, 2021 3:24 pm

You drew an artificial bounary around 100 trees. If there were 50 similar groups of 100 trees, you could cut all of one group down each year. The planet has about three trillion trees.

Doonman
October 9, 2021 10:31 am

Don’t worry. Once you pay a carbon tax you’ll gladly stay home, sit in the dark and freeze. Then Drax won’t be needed. It’s all part of UN globalist government policy.

Ragnaar
October 9, 2021 1:04 pm

Ember is wrong. It takes too long is a weak argument. Trees are growing like crazy all over the world. There is net tree gain. Wood is simply a less dense form of coal. There’s nothing wrong with burning it for electricity. Drax works. It’s reliable. It will be full on this Winter. Be thankful for it. Ally with Drax, not the Greens. Drax is burning stuff. Burning stuff is fine. Of course the subsidy is wrong. All the subsidies should be ended. Not just Drax’s.

Bryan A
Reply to  Ragnaar
October 9, 2021 10:40 pm

Of course there is a net greening and mass increase in trees globally. They LOVE LOVE LOVE the CO2 that we’re producing.
CO2 fertilization is a proven fact and most plant life grows better at 450 – 700 ppm with some doing even better at 1200 ppm.

Rusty
Reply to  Ragnaar
October 10, 2021 3:34 am

Drax wouldn’t be profitable without the subsidy of £800m plus a year. It’s around £2.2 million a day!

No subsidy = no power. Crazy isn’t it?

Ragnaar
October 9, 2021 3:27 pm

First they came for the woodburners, and I said nothing. You all know the saying. Why should anyone be able to burn wood to heat their home? Argue against that not some target the Greens are attacking. Jesus.

Ted
October 9, 2021 7:39 pm

“completely at odds with what the world’s leading climate scientists at the UN IPCC”

Uttering this phrase is by itself enough to prove the power plant is based on a scam.

ATheoK
October 9, 2021 8:25 pm

“A 2018 study estimated it would take 40 to 100 years or more for forests to recapture the carbon emissions from burning the wood pellets, if ever, because forests are subject to hazards like disease and fires.

The paper’s lead author John Sterman, professor of management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology”

Looks like they assume long growth hardwoods instead of the rapid growth softwoods that are sent to Drax.

if ever, because forests are subject to hazards like disease and fires.“, again assumptions instead of performing observations at the forests used for Drax fuel. Assumptions that allow these alleged researchers to negatively game the results.

More urban couch potato confirmation bias.

Patrick MJD
October 9, 2021 8:54 pm

We already knew that burning wood mass needs more of that mass per kilowatt of energy generated and produces more CO2 emissions. It is well known physics. Add to that the energy use and emissions produced to get that wood mass to DRAX from the US. It is madness.

Last edited 1 month ago by Patrick MJD
TonyG
October 10, 2021 1:44 pm

CO2 from approved sources is carbon-neutral, gotcha.

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