Saturday, July 26, 2014

Biomass report adds to debates on subsidies and emission reduction benefits

The Financial Times ran an article earlier this week on a new report prepared for the U.K.'s Department of Energy and Climate Change: Life Cycle Impacts of Biomass Electricity in 2020

Burning wood to generate electricity can produce as many of the carbon dioxide emissions responsible for climate change as a coal-fired power station, an energy department study seen by the Financial Times has found.
But the report also shows that under certain conditions it is possible to burn some types of wood waste in a way that produces fewer emissions than either a coal or gas power plant.The report, co-authored by Professor David MacKay,the department’s chief scientific adviser, will add to the debate over the subsidies paid to power stations such as Yorkshire’s Drax...The report shows there is a huge difference in emissions produced depending on the type of wood used and its source.
The entire article can be read at

David MacKay authored the well-respected book Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air (available as a free e-book).

I've looked through the Executive Summary of  Life Cycle Impacts of Biomass Electricity in 2020 and it is implied that, as with oil, there is the best option, and at the other end, there's the Canadian option.

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