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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Kwasi Kwarteng says biomass wooden imports are “not sustainable”

Cooling towers at Drax, North Yorkshire (picture credit score: Shutterstock.com / Phil Silverman).

Enterprise Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng instructed a non-public assembly of MPs this week that Drax’s imports of US-made wooden pellets to be burnt for power are “not sustainable”. He added that it “doesn’t make sense” and instructed MPs the federal government had not totally investigated the sustainability of burning wooden pellets, a sort of biomass. In an additional blow to Drax, which receives billions in authorities subsidies, Kwarteng admitted that whereas BEIS has mentioned biomass with business, “we haven’t truly questioned a number of the premises” of the sustainability of pellets.

Elly Pepper, Senior Advocate for NRDC (Pure Sources Protection Council) and Lower Carbon Not Forests, says:

“Kwasi Kwarteng’s view is a part of a rising consensus that burning bushes for electrical energy has been tried and failed on the checks of local weather, nature, and affordability. Biomass energy places a number of the world’s most treasured forests in danger. It makes local weather change worse, not higher. And in comparison with different renewables which are getting cheaper on a regular basis, its worth has remained regular. Like fossil fuels, burning biomass additionally requires large quantities of water to be abstracted for cooling, rising water stress at occasions of drought. A clear and reasonably priced power future means ending assist for biomass and investing in power 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 tons of of scientists have been saying for a very long time: Burning bushes for power accelerates local weather change slightly than slowing it down. It additionally harms biodiversity, and harms communities affected by air air pollution. Within the UK, biomass power from bushes on an unlimited scale is basically pushed by subsidies for biomass electrical energy. The federal government should finish these subsidies and focus assist on power 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 problem
With the UK mentioned to be on the cusp of a significant drought, threatening to affect sweeping areas of the nation, the power business is depleting our water sources far past what is required to produce peoples’ properties, campaigners insist. Elly Pepper, a campaigner with Lower Carbon Not Forests, commented:

“The power business is likely 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’ properties. Fossil gas crops that use oil, fuel, and coal, and that burn bushes, use this water for cooling. Drax energy firm alone makes use of 64 billion litres of water per yr throughout its biomass, coal, and fuel energy crops. That’s the identical as 4.5 days’ value of the UK’s complete water provide.

“Not solely is biomass energy wrecking forests and making local weather change worse, it’s additionally weak to drought – this isn’t power safety, it’s the other. Changing biomass and fossil fuels with renewables like wind and photo voltaic will deliver down power payments and make the power system extra resilient to future droughts and dry climate.”

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