DECC Pushing For Biomass Whitewash
By Paul Homewood
On the plane back from Italy, I came across this story in Private Eye.
[For those who have not read it, the Eye, aka Lord Gnome’s organ, is both a satirical and investigative journal, and has regularly caused great embarrassment for the powers that be].
In other words, we are going to end up with a whitewash.
I have been reporting on this issue now for a couple of years or so, for instance here. Following environmental concerns from US scientists, DECC were forced to commission their own report, which found that burning wood to fuel power stations can create as many harmful carbon emissions as burning coal. Even with perfect practices, net emissions will only return to zero after many decades, by which time we will all presumably have fried.
As the BBC reported in 2014, the then Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, saw “biomass burning as a temporary solution to meet short-term carbon reduction targets.”. And why? Because the rules allowed biomass to count as zero emissions.
Current strike prices for biomass are £105/MWH, more than double market prices. Last year, biomass generated 5.5% of UK power.
There are too many vested interests involved now, whether operators like Drax or DECC themselves, for us to expect any change to the current wholly unsatisfactory situation.