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Eco-Rape Of Africa: Hamburg Power Plants To Use Namibia Bush Wood For Fuel

October 21, 2020

By Paul Homewood


The world has gone truly mad!


From NTZ:


Substituting coal with wood from Africa

German environmental protection group ROBIN WOOD here recently issued a press release calling on the city of Hamburg, Germany to cancel its plan to replace coal with imported bushwood from Namibia at its power plants, such as the Tiefstack cogeneration plant.

In May, 2020, a “Memorandum of Understanding” became known, according to which the Hamburg environmental authority (BUKEA) and Wärme Hamburg GmbH are examining a project of this kind.

ROBIN WOOD is firmly opposed to this project of a “Transcontinental Biomass Partnership Namibia – Hamburg”, which is being promoted by the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ).

“Obliged” to pursue “socially just, climate-friendly” renewable energies

“With the referendum on the buyback of the energy networks, which was won in 2013, the Hamburg Senate was obliged to pursue the goal of a “socially just, climate-friendly and democratically controlled energy supply from renewable energies,” says the ROBIN WOOD press release. “The intended burning of bushwood from Namibia clearly contradicts this goal.”

Voters apparently were not well informed what meeting the climate-friendly” goals really entailed when they voted.

Namibia land use – to benefit crony euro-corporations

Because of the long transport distances and especially because of changes in land use in Namibia, this form of energy supply would not be climate-compatible. The German environmental group also claims “the main beneficiaries would be corporations in the global North, which would be able to sell machines and transport vehicles and supply themselves with raw materials.”

Full story here.

  1. pardonmeforbreathing permalink
    October 21, 2020 10:35 am

    Let us not forget this whole wood mania is based on both mathematical and science free nonsense, based on wilful ignorance, emotions and feelings instead of empirical data supported facts.

  2. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 21, 2020 10:36 am

    The EU – and via the Channel, the UK – should prepare for a load of Namibian refugees when they discover they can’t find enough wood for their cooking fires. Maybe that’s the real intention of the plan: de-population.

    • mandtmarsh permalink
      October 21, 2020 11:58 am

      Actually @HarryPassfield – Namibia is the second least densely populated country in the world, after Mongolia. Along with Botswana it still has a vibrant economy, and immense natural resources, and there is no prospect of refugees from there for a long time yet.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        October 21, 2020 3:23 pm

        Thank you. I appreciate your input.

      • Curious George permalink
        October 21, 2020 8:35 pm

        A vibrant economy, based on a firewood export. From Wikipedia:
        Namibia is a higher middle income country with an estimated annual GDP per capita of US$5,828 but has extreme inequalities in income distribution and standard of living. It leads the list of countries by income inequality with a Gini coefficient of 59.7 (CIA) and 74.3 (UN), respectively.

  3. October 21, 2020 10:37 am

    Hopefully it will reduce fossil fuel emissions and keep us within the safe carbon budget. Earth system models show that the emission reduction will reduce the rate of warming and save the planet.

  4. Ian Magness permalink
    October 21, 2020 10:39 am

    From a (real, not accounted for the way the EU do) CO2 emissions perspective, this is equally as nuts as Drax. You can’t help but think that a few pieces of silver have crossed a few palms, possibly in both continents.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      October 21, 2020 3:58 pm

      It’s more nuts than Drax. Look at the mileage for a start!

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        October 21, 2020 8:49 pm

        The shipping will be only a relatively small element of the cost. Gathering up the scrub in Namibia will I am sure entail the use of a lot of diesel. Bulldozers, tree uprooting machines, backhoe loaders, trucks back to the gathering centre, power for the sawmills to reduce it so it will compact for shipping. Trucking to port (probably several hundred miles to Walvis Bay round trip) and loading. The mpg per tonne for shipping is of the order of 1,000, which likely implies that trucking to port and shipping use a similar amount of fuel, although the trucking will be much more labour intensive and hence expensive.

  5. Barbara permalink
    October 21, 2020 11:30 am

    I cannot believe I have just read this. The following comes immediately to mind:

  6. William Birch permalink
    October 21, 2020 12:37 pm

    United Nations Whitaker report (1985) reported on Germany’s involvement in Namibian history between 1904 and 1908, which it refers to as genocide against the indigenous people of the area. Germany in 2004 formally acknowledged and apologised for this shameful episode in their shared history. Thus it is strange way of making reparations to decide to cut down a significant number of Namibia’s bush trees thereby increasing the likelihood of increased desertification of Namibia

  7. John Peter permalink
    October 21, 2020 3:18 pm

    I think it was Paul Homewood who had an article somewhere where the calorific value of wood versus coal on a weight basis showed that coal was more efficient and actually produced less CO2 per kwh of output. The whole scam is based on newly planted trees absorbing the CO2 output from the whole wood burning process including transport. Will the trees be planted and will ‘climate extinction’ wait until they have grown to absorb enough CO2? It would appear that getting out of the EU will not separate us from their daft regulations or DRAX would return to burning coal asap. Hope I am polite enough.

  8. ThinkingScientist permalink
    October 21, 2020 3:40 pm

    I have visited Namibia several times, fantastic place. My favourite place on the planet (after UK!). If true, this would be a disaster for Namibia and the Namibian people

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      October 21, 2020 4:21 pm

      Following my education from mandtmarsh, above, I read some more about the place and it seems a very nice place indeed. Low population and population density Etc From memory, it looks like there are twice as many people there as South Australia (state) so I hope they aren’t suckered into green power as much as the Aussies..

  9. Paul Weeks permalink
    October 21, 2020 3:53 pm

    Years ago when I visited Namibia and saw all this firewood lying about I thought about shipping it back to the UK for very high quality firewood. I think it is shipped to SA for this use. It also looks lovely in fish tanks.

  10. StephenP permalink
    October 21, 2020 5:17 pm

    i can never understand why it is regarded as OK to blow 80 year’s worth of tree growth every day when it will take 80 years to get back where you started.
    At what point does the whole system reach equilibrium, where the CO2 sequestered per day equals the CO2 produced by burning the wood?

  11. mandtmarsh permalink
    October 21, 2020 6:33 pm

    I’m a big fan of NALOPKT and generally agree totally with the positions taken. But on this one, I’m afraid there is an aspect that isn’t generally known, that changes everything. It’s this.
    Wildlife in Namibia generally are browsers. That keeps the thorn scrub down and maintains the mixed savanna landscape. But decades of cattle ranching – cattle being grazers, not browsers – has resulted in the open savanna turning into thick impenetrable thorn scrub, with seriously reduced carrying capacity of both cattle and game, over literally millions of hectares. Clearing it is expensive, unless there is a commercial use for the biomass. Burning it to generate power makes a lot of sense.

    Keep up the good work!

    • October 21, 2020 6:51 pm

      Interesting – thanks

    • Robert Jones permalink
      October 21, 2020 8:46 pm

      Presumably it only makes sense to burn the biomass in-country, not ship it all to Germany?

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        October 21, 2020 9:00 pm

        Not necessarily. Trucking is much more costly than sea freight, especially once the distances get bigger. Sea freight is a relatively small amount of the bill – under $20/tonne. Use it locally, and you displace South African coal, which would have to be exported further afield.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        October 22, 2020 9:25 am

        It makes far more sense to ship coal a distance than wood. Displace the coal and use biomass locally, ship the coal to Germany. But then Germany wouldn’t be reducing emissions…

        It’s amazing the insanity you end up when you start with a stupid target.

  12. Coeur de Lion permalink
    October 21, 2020 9:29 pm

    Is this because the World Bank won’t allow investment in coal fired power stations?

  13. October 22, 2020 4:26 am

    The great thing about Namibia is that it has a small carbon footprint of about 1.7 tons per capita of emissions. In that sense it is very climate friendly.

    • dave permalink
      October 22, 2020 9:08 am

      The Carbon Stock in Living Forest Mass in Namibia is estimated to have fallen from 253 million metric tons in 1990 to 200 million now. So whatever they are doing in the way of exploitation – they are doing too much of it already!

      • October 22, 2020 9:44 am

        Thank you for the deforestation data. 53 million metric tonnes may sound like a lot but it is about 0.018% of fossil fuel emissions but i do get your point that it is something to take into account. Thank you.

  14. Tim Spence permalink
    October 22, 2020 11:36 am

    I don’t think collecting scrub brush is feasable or economical. You would have to rake a thousand sq. km to fill five boatloads.

    There aren’t many trees there either, and many of those that do exist are protected species like the kokerboom (quiver tree).

    Some of Southern Africa’s trees are the most valuable wood in the world for furniture. It all seems like environmental vandalism to me. Not for the first time either if you have read the history of the forbidden zone.

    • October 22, 2020 10:59 pm

      Not to mention all the lives of all the fauna that would be disrupted and endangered by such an irrational policy.

  15. europeanonion permalink
    October 23, 2020 9:13 am

    Germany seems to have a special thing about S W Africa, Namibia. Representatives of the Herero and Nama peoples filed a class action over the massacre of some 100,000 of their fellows in the period 1904 -1908. The genocide, it was said, was perpetrated by German Colonial troops. Lurid tales of decapitations with the heads being sent to Germany for scientific experiments. Mrs Merkel acknowledges the atrocity but refuses reparations but will contribute development aid instead.

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