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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:42 pm
by Digit
....God give me patience.... and make it soon!

Biomass blaze highlights bizarre nature of 'renewable’ energy

On February 27, 120 firemen were rushed to deal with a major incident at Tilbury, east of London, where 6,000 tons of wood pellets had caught fire at what is now ''the world’s largest biomass power station’’. Until recently Tilbury was one of England’s 14 remaining coal-fired power plants. But, attracted by the 100 per-cent-plus subsidies we pay to help meet the EU target whereby within eight years, 32 per cent of our electricity must come from ''renewables’’, the plant’s German owners, RWE, have converted it to burning more than half a million tons of pellets a year, imported from Georgia, US, where the wood is grown and processed.

One problem is that large quantities of green wood are liable to combust, the most likely cause of this fire (the second such in Britain in recent months). Another is that wood generates energy so much less efficiently than coal that the plant’s output has fallen from 1,100 megawatts to only 750MW. (However, this is still two-thirds of the power generated on average by all our 3,500 wind turbines combined.)

Rather more serious, though, since the claimed purpose of ''biomass’’ is to help reduce Britain’s emissions of carbon dioxide, is that the wood actually emits more CO2 for each unit of electricity it produces than the coal it replaced (not to mention all the additional CO2 emitted by processing and shipping it across the Atlantic). This recently led that bizarre body, the Committee on Climate Change, set up to advise the Government under the Climate Change Act, to recommend that biomass power stations should only be permitted to operate if they are fitted with ''carbon capture and storage’’, designed to pipe away and bury all the CO2 they emit.

So, in order to reduce our CO2 emissions, we subsidise power companies to burn wood which ends up emitting much more CO2 than the fossil fuels it replaces, so that the Government is now told that this should only be allowed if the firms then remove that CO2 by a process so CO2 intensive that it doubles the cost of the electricity, in order to bury it under the sea using technology not yet commercially developed and which, according to various scientific studies, will never work anyway, Yet according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, ''biomass’’ is going to be as important to meeting our EU targets as those useless windmills. Thus in every direction do the ''green dreams’’ of those who rule us in London and Brussels collide with reality.


Re: Please....

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:10 am
by Minimalist
Actually, in the first paragraph the stated purpose of the program is to increase the use of renewable energy - it doesn't say anything about CO2.

Still, one would think that someone would be looking to kill two birds with one stone. Or should be. That's where the wind turbines come in: renewable and CO2 free.

Re: Please....

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:25 am
by Digit
The EU Directive is to achieve a target in renewables and a reduction in CO2, but the idea of the wood chip burning is that electrical production is carbon neutral. The amount of CO2 released equalling the amount sourced from the atmosphere during the wood's growth cycle, the Irish have been doing so for some years now.
This is of course a closed loop, but not when you obtain the wood from miles off site!
The other problem is that when the idea of using timber was promoted it was promoted as being carbon neutral, and there was no mention of Carbon Capture, this is something that our late, very unlamented, Environment Minister rode into town on. He was promoting it for years, whilst ignoring the impracticalities, but what the hell, he's a banker! He's also facing jail time right about now!
The same idea was promoted locally a few years ago when the airport was extended, I asked at the public meeting what was going to happen to the wood ash?
The enquiry was completely unaware of the volume of ash that would be produced or as to how it would be disposed of, neither did they understand that wet ash leaches Caustic Soda!
It died.
It is also apparent from the above report that modern day engineers are completely ignorant of the fact that a large, damp bio mass will ignite spontaneously, something that I imagine just about every farm boy could have informed them of!
The reporter, Chris Booker, is mortal enemy number one of George Monbiot, the Green God of the Guardian. Booker is not qualified in any discipline, AFAIK, Monbiot is in a natural science.
Unfortunately this has not prevented either of them from some of the greatest Goofs I know of. In the above report CB states that burning timber produces more CO2 than the coal it replaced for the same amount of power generated.
This is not so. It is, as I stated, a closed loop. But then, so is coal burning! :twisted: