When I was a kid, Mum did the washing in a copper of boiling water over an open fire in the back yard. We collected the wood from the back paddock with a horse and dray. It was all very “green” (but we thought it was just hard yakka).
Greens want us to return to this primitive method for generating heat, and even electricity.
It is sensible for industrial plants such as sugar mills to burn readily available organic waste such as bagasse to generate power. But to deliberately build power stations to run on wood chips is a step back to the BC (before coal) era when forests were clear-felled to produce fuel and charcoal to feed boilers and furnaces.
Coal is an energy-dense fuel, and often has huge deposits in a concentrated area. Long-life power stations can be built close to the coal deposits, thus minimising transport costs and land disturbance.
Wood, however, has very low energy density and biomass energy is always spread over large areas of land. The fuel gathering operation must move every day, with enormous waste of transport energy and displacement of plants and animals.
Burning coal or burning biomass produces exactly the same harmless combustion gases, and a switch of fuels will have no measurable effect on climate.
Even more stupid than wood power are Green dreams to feed power stations with low grade fuels such as wheat stubble or fowl manure. The collection and transport costs for such inferior fuels will exceed the value of electricity produced. It also robs the bio-sphere of valuable mulch, fertiliser and humus.
Burning biomass to generate electricity is Green madness. Speculators should be free to fritter their own funds on such nonsense but public subsidies, carbon credits and market mandates should not be used to support them.
Here is a new slogan for true environmentalists: “Don’t Burn the Bio-sphere”.
Read how one foolish island nation plans to burn its food (coconuts) in diesel generators:
- Why Bury the Essentials of Life in Carbon Cemeteries?
- Abolish the Two Big Climate Taxes
- The Real Agenda: Agenda 21
- Nothing New about Extreme Weather
- Has the LNP forgotten the battlers?
See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/burning-the-biosphere.pdf [PDF, 219 KB]
Keywords: Green Energy, biomass, wood power, biofuel, CCS (carbon capture & sequestration), climate taxes, electricity costs, carbon tax, renewable energy targets, Agenda 21, extreme weather.