Shopping Basket

Biomass might not be all it’s cracked up to be

Posted by Mark Godsell-Fletcher on

Bio fuel factory A plan to introduce new biomass power stations into Britain in order to provide around 11% of the UK’s energy by 2020 has been criticised because of the environmental implications that such a project could have globally. Biomass power stations run on previously live organisms – plants, specifically wood pellets, being the most popular energy source – and require millions of tonnes of wood from all over the world in order to function at full capacity. Wood pellets Biomass power is claimed to be sustainable and environmentally friendly as greenhouse emissions are 90% less than a typical coal burning power station. However, environmental campaign group Biofuelwatch has published a report which states that if plans are approved for the eight biomass power stations that are currently in the UK to run to capacity – along with another seven that are in the pipeline - then the UK could find itself burning up to 82 million tonnes of wood every year. Although the biomass industry has fought back against the claims, agreeing that it would be uneconomical to cut down entire forests purely for the purpose of creating biomass energy. A spokesman for Enviva, a supplier of wood pellets to Drax, the firm that runs the giant biomass power stations in the UK , said: “Biomass comes mainly from off-cuts from poor-quality trees that are left over from those grown for the construction and paper industries.” Deforestation The reality is that biomass is the only type of renewable energy that is relatively cost-effective and can replace the use of coal quickly. All other forms of fuel would be too expensive and take too long to produce. The use of biomass to generate energy to power UK homes would also significantly improve the country's greenhouse emissions and carbon footprint. If wood is to be used as one of the UK’s main sources of fuel it’s essential for everyone to do their best to reuse, recycle and up-cycle as many wooden products as they can. This doesn’t mean that you can’t purchase brand new, high quality furniture though as there are plenty of companies that already make use of reclaimed timber to make their products. Eat Sleep Live for example source high quality, 100 year old wood from demolitions within the UK which means that each of our products is completely individual and steeped in history, yet still brand new.

Older Post Newer Post