THE TRAVESTY OF US SOUTHEAST WOOD PELLET EXPORTS TO EUROPE

The EU and US have declared, “Burning wood is CO2-neutral”. East Europe and the US Southeast still have significant areas with forests. Starting about 2005, major parts of these forests have been harvested by means of clear-cutting. In 2016, about 6.5 million metric ton of wood pellets will be shipped from the US Southeast to Europe for co-firing in coal-fired power plants. The EU authorities in Brussels have declared these coal plants in compliance with EU CO2/kWh standards, because biomass is renewable and the CO2 of wood burning is not counted.

 

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=20912

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wood-pellet-biomass-pollut...

 

A wood chip power plant or heating plant adds CO2 to the atmosphere through:

 

- Logging, which adds CO2 due to soil disturbance; vehicle transport, equipment use, refurbishments and replacements; and diesel burning

- Building the plant, which adds CO2

- Plant O & M and refurbishments and replacements, which adds CO2

- Burning wood, which adds CO2 at much higher rates/energy unit than other fuels. See table.

- Decommissioning the plant, which adds CO2

 

The total CO2 of above 5 items would add about 15% to the combustion CO2, and thus would require about 15% more forest area than the harvested area to reabsorb that CO2 over at least 50 years. If wood pellets were used, about 30% more forest area would be needed, as about 115 units of energy are required to produce pellets with 100 units of energy. If those wood pellets were exported to Europe, about 40% more forest area would be needed. Burning wood to produce electricity, or heat, yields more CO2/energy unit and more pollution/energy unit than any other fuel. The below table indicates only the combustion CO2.

 

Fuel

 lb CO2/million Btu

 Plant efficiency, %

 CO2/MWh

CO2 Ratio

Wood chip

 213.0

30

 2423 

3.6

Bituminous coal

 205.7

 41

1712

2.6

No. 2 fuel oil

161.3

35

1572

2.4

Natural gas

 117.0

 60

665

1.0

 

Manufacturing pellets requires about 15% more input energy than wood chips.

Manufacturing pellets and shipping them to European coal plants requires about 25% more input energy than wood chips.

CO2 of pellet burning (213) is declared CO2-neutral (sequestered in about 50-100 years) by the EU, but the other 35% will never be sequestered, unless 35% more trees are planted.

 

Combustion CO2

 Processing CO2

Process

lb CO2/100000 Btu

 %

 

213

 1.10

Wood chips (harvesting, chipping, transport)

213

 1.25

Wood pellets (harvesting, pelletizing, transport)

213

1.35

Wood pellets (harvesting, pelletizing, transport to Europe)

 

See URL, with photos, regarding the unsustainable clear cutting of US Southeast forests to enable Germany, UK, etc., to meet the EU CO2 emissions standards, because the EU declared biomass emissions to be CO2-free!! Germany, the UK, etc., are co-firing the pellets in their coal-fired power plants!!

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/16/3644889/woody-biomass-i...

 

In the US Southeast many forests are managed. In Georgia, with a flat topography, fast-growing fir trees are planted in rows on many square miles of land. Trees have trunks of about 1.5 foot when harvested. It takes about 20 - 25 years from harvest to harvest; in Maine about 35 - 40 years. One may wonder how long it would take to deplete the soil to significantly affect crop yields. If 3,250,000 ton of wood pellets were exported in 2013 (a lot more was produced, but not exported), at 7.2 ton/acre/y, about 450,000 acres of intensively managed forest would be required.

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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