Yet another “green energy source” has been exposed as a threat to the environment. The Washington Post reported that large numbers of trees are being cut down in parts of the United States in order to supply wood pellets to European power plants.
The wood pellets are part of a green energy scam known as biomass, biomass means burning wood instead of coal instead of power plants. A number of European countries including Britain are importing large amounts of wood pellets as a coal replacement. US production of wood pellets doubled between 2012 and 2014 growing from two million to 4.4 million tons according to The Post.
The largest wood pellet manufacturer, Enviva now owns six pellet mills in four states and has plans to build three more. Enviva also owns a deep sea terminal that ships 1.5 million metric tons of wood pellets to Europe every year.
Some European governments including Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom encourage utilities to burn wood pellets instead of coal because they are cleaner burning. Enviva claims smoke from its wood pellets produces 80% carbon pollution than coal.
The big problem with that is that Enviva buys trees from farmers to make its wood pellets instead of using waste wood to make the plants. Large regions of land are apparently being stripped to supply British power plants with the pellets.
If that was not bad enough the Natural Resource Defense Council estimates that harvesting trees for wood pellets can actually increase green gas emissions. The practice increases green gas emissions because diesel burning machines are used to harvest the trees, diesel burning trucks are used to haul the trees to the pellet mill, the pellet mill uses electricity made by coal burning power plants, diesel burning trucks or trains haul the pellets to a port where a diesel burning ship hauls it to Europe.
Get the picture folks as with ethanol large amounts of fossil fuel are being burned to produce the so-called “green fuel.” To make matters worse at the end of the day burning wood pellets still produces large amounts of air pollution. It does nothing to fight global warming and might increase it.
The council estimated that burning wood pellets could increase carbon emissions for many decades perhaps more than by burning fossil fuels. The Council’s estimates indicate that the increased carbon emissions could linger in the atmosphere for decades as long as 100 years.
Low Energy Nuclear Reaction a Real Solution to Greenhouse Emissions
Real alternatives to coal such as low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) are needed not this green energy scam. LENR could greatly reduce green emissions in two ways:
- First diesel burning machinery would not be needed to extract the fuel or haul it to the power plant. Instead the low energy nuclear reaction would create the heat necessary to make steam to run turbines to generate electricity. This would greatly reduce both pollution and the cost of electricity providing an added benefit to ratepayers.
- Second LENR would produce no air pollution so there would be no greenhouse gases emitted by the power plant.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the money and resources being wasted on horse and buggy technologies like biomass were invested in next generation energy research instead. Developing real alternatives to fossil fuels like LENR or small-scale hot fusion is the real solution to greenhouse gases not green energy scams. Solutions like biomass will only hasten the advent of climate change.