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Author Topic: Renewable energy: Burning US trees in UK power stations  (Read 4547 times)
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« on: May 28, 2013, 02:52:51 PM »

I thought this BBC News article was interesting, and whilst it seems to be trying to be negative, doesn't really draw any conclusions. Just wondered how this all stacks up in the opinions of Navitron'ians?

"Swamp forests in the US are being felled to help keep the lights on in the UK. Is this really the best way to combat climate change?

Environmentalists are trying to block the expansion of a transatlantic trade bringing American wood to burn in European power stations.

The trade is driven by EU rules promoting renewable energy to combat climate change.

Many millions of tonnes of wood pellets will soon be shipped annually to help keep the lights on in the UK. Other EU nations may follow.

Critics say subsidising wood burning wastes money, does nothing to tackle climate change in the short term, and is wrecking some of the finest forests in the US."

It's informative, but a little thin. I'd have thought that mining and transporting coal, also has large energy consumption, but not sure how it compares, plus the processing of wood pellets must consume some/lots/loads (?) of energy too. Just looking for some thoughts and a free lesson in the basics (pro's v's con's). Cheers.


Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 03:21:44 PM »

You will need a lot more shipping and handling:-,20041&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

                     GJ/tonne      Bulk densitykg/m3
Wood pellets      17                 650
House coal            27-31         850
Anthracite            33                1100

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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 06:01:44 PM »

I find it amazing that it makes sense to import wood from America to burn here in our power stations.  It suggests the market has been stupidly distorted by the climate change legislation.
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 07:16:55 PM »

The modern world.  Sad As a house builder we used to use old concrete bricks, concrete etc. as hard-core. (and never had any problems). Now we have to pay to put it in a skip and then have to buy in stone. But guess where the stone comes from? NORWAY because its cheaper to import it, than to dig it up in this country and then pay the aggregate levy.

85no 58mm solar thermal tubes, 28.5Kw PV, 3 x Sunny Backup 5048, 3x Sunny Island 5048, 2795 Ah (135kWh) (c20) Rolls batteries 48v, Atmos wood gasification boiler, Brosley wood burner, 2000lt buffer tank and 250lt DHW
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 09:26:16 PM »

I had a rant about this last year M  banghead the world has gone mad, just like that lunacy Tinbum describes with the hard core, it's happened here shipping stuff off the island to go to a landfill then hauling stuff in by road and sea. The latest bit of insanity I came across was trying to buy a phone for my son, the batteries are now internal and can't be changed because 'it's safer', how feckin green is that, pay 280 for a friggin phone then throw it away when the battery fails  banghead  banghead

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 9kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
Philip R
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 10:02:49 PM »

I feel a rant coming on!

Bruce B, The move to wood fuel in some UK  powerplants is as a result of the Large Combustion Plant Directive, more to do with emission of sulphur dioxide, not CO2.
(As an aside, the closure of some coal plants recently has more to do with local authority opposition to plant modification on the back of the EU directives).

Supremetwo,s figures show how bulky the wood fuels are compared to coal and anthracite wrt their energy content. Means lots of ship load and train load of fuel to run the converted power plants, resulting in a lot of extra oil fuel used transporting the wood.

Just shows how much faith we have in incompetent politicians both in Europe and in the UK to sign up to such utterly badly thought out policies.

It would (no pun) have been better to burn the wood waste in US power stations and with the carbon offset achieved, continue to burn coal in Europe, as transport of coal is more carbon efficient than wood product. Such a scheme is beyond the comprehension of a politician.
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