Enterprise Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng advised a non-public assembly of MPs this week that Drax’s imports of US-made wooden pellets to be burnt for vitality are “not sustainable”. He added that it “doesn’t make sense” and advised MPs the federal government had not totally investigated the sustainability of burning wooden pellets, a sort of biomass. In an extra blow to Drax, which receives billions in authorities subsidies, Kwarteng admitted that whereas BEIS has mentioned biomass with business, “we haven’t really questioned a number of the premises” of the sustainability of pellets.
Elly Pepper, Senior Advocate for NRDC (Pure Sources Protection Council) and Reduce Carbon Not Forests, says:
“Kwasi Kwarteng’s view is a part of a rising consensus that burning timber for electrical energy has been tried and failed on the exams of local weather, nature, and affordability. Biomass energy places a number of the world’s most valuable forests in danger. It makes local weather change worse, not higher. And in comparison with different renewables which can be getting cheaper on a regular basis, its worth has remained regular. Like fossil fuels, burning biomass additionally requires big quantities of water to be abstracted for cooling, growing water stress at instances of drought. A clear and reasonably priced vitality future means ending assist for biomass and investing in vitality effectivity measures and low cost renewables like wind and photo voltaic.”
Almuth Ernsting, Co-Director of Biofuelwatch says:
“We’re happy that Kwasi Kwarteng is beginning to acknowledge what a whole lot of scientists have been saying for a very long time: Burning timber for vitality accelerates local weather change reasonably than slowing it down. It additionally harms biodiversity, and harms communities affected by air air pollution. Within the UK, biomass vitality from timber on an unlimited scale is essentially pushed by subsidies for biomass electrical energy. The federal government should finish these subsidies and focus assist on vitality financial savings and clear, non-emissive renewables like wind and solar energy, that are additionally cheaper than biomass electrical energy.”
Water utilization can also be a difficulty
With the UK mentioned to be on the cusp of a serious drought, threatening to affect sweeping areas of the nation, the vitality business is depleting our water sources far past what is required to provide peoples’ houses, campaigners insist. Elly Pepper, a campaigner with Reduce Carbon Not Forests, commented:
“The vitality business is without doubt one of the greatest customers of water within the UK. It takes extra water out of rivers, streams, lakes, and the ocean than is used for the whole water provide for peoples’ houses. Fossil gas crops that use oil, fuel, and coal, and that burn timber, use this water for cooling. Drax energy firm alone makes use of 64 billion litres of water per 12 months throughout its biomass, coal, and fuel energy crops. That’s the identical as 4.5 days’ value of the UK’s whole water provide.
“Not solely is biomass energy wrecking forests and making local weather change worse, it’s additionally susceptible to drought – this isn’t vitality safety, it’s the other. Changing biomass and fossil fuels with renewables like wind and photo voltaic will convey down vitality payments and make the vitality system extra resilient to future droughts and dry climate.”