Fueling a BioMess is a new Greenpeace report that exposes the myopic stampede of western governments into fueling electric power plants and heat plants with forest biomass, as a way to help save the climate.
The climate as well as forests suffer for this mistaken approach. The biomass boom is a classic case of national governments following a path that, years ago, they should have realized is too good to be true.
These squanderings of time and funds need to be diverted to non-combustion renewable energy and effective energy conservation measures – a path that also creates jobs. Sadly, taking the path of biomass energy was avoidable. Science from two decades ago to the present shows that carbon dioxide emissions from burning forest biomass for energy generally take so long to be neutralized by tree regrowth – several decades to over a century – that the climate is harmed, not helped. This decade is the timeframe that matters for getting a grip on the atmospheric CO2 concentration, and the next few decades are also quite important.
Driven by government policies and subsidies, biomass combustion for power and heat is widespread across Europe and growing fast, and is catching hold quickly in Canada and the United States.
One problem with biomass energy is that it takes a huge land area of forest or crops to make just a small amount of energy.
It is long past time to jump to the right path for meeting energy needs and aiding the climate.
Download Fueling a BioMess here.