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Almuth Ernsting Biofuelwatch 28th May 2010 Overview of developments of wood-based bioenergy in the UK and EU E.On's Steven's Croft power station near Lockerbie
Poyry/McKinsey analysis Biomass plans in the UK Most of this capacity is for dedicated biomass power stations, mainly at ports. Identified sources: US, Canada South America, South Africa, Baltic States and Russia.
Predictions by the European Renewable Energy Council The proportion with respect to total energy use from biomass is expected to increase from 6.0% to 12.7 – 13.9%.
“With current assumptions we see a gap between supply and demand of more 5hqn 200 million tonnes of wood per year by 2020 [ in Europe ]” How and at whose expense will that gap be filled? Cepi based on report by Poyry/McKinsey
“The c. 1 million hectares of coniferous forest planted in the UK, mainly on marginal land, over this period represents a major resource as both a carbon store and a carbon ‘sink’.” - Reid Report on Forests and Climate Change Scottish Natural Heritage UK: Back to monoculture expansion
...and towards more destructive logging Whole Tree Removal Photo: Forestry Commission Stump Removal Promoted by the Woodfuel Strategy for England
Forestry Commission figures for the UK in 2008: Total wood production: 8.4 million tonnes Wood imports: 45.7 million tonnes Wood exports: 5.4 million tonnes Wood consumption: 48.8 million tonnes Less than half a million tonnes for bioenergy at the time Yet the UK will get nowhere near meeting even current wood demand
Example 1: Forth Energy • Subsidiary of SSE and Forth Ports • Plans for four 120 MW power stations in Edinburgh, Grangemouth, Dundee, Rosyth, all at ports World's (so far) largest wood pellet plant in Florida - Forth Energy plan to burn wood from North America
Example 2: Prenergy in Port Talbot World's largest wood power station which has received planning consent – 350 MW Smaller Margam Power Station in Port Talbot Photo: Wally Menne– clearcut tree plantationin South Africa - from where Prenergy plans to source some of the wood
“Much academic research indicates large areas of land available for sustainable forestry establishment without displacement of ecologically damaging activities.” - Noel Forrest, MGT Power Imports from North and South America and the Baltic States planned. Example 3: MGT Power 300 MW wood power station approved in Teeside – will burn 2,4 million tonnes per year.
+ Renewable Obligation Certificates (paid at a higher rate for wood from dedicated plantations + Planned Renewable Heat Incentive (which would pay a higher rate for bioenergy than for solar thermal) Subsidies behind wood power expansion
“Trees grow faster in the tropics, labour is cheaper and governments provide a series of subsidies to encourage the expansion of the industry.” From Plantations, Poverty and Power, Chris Lang, published by World Rainforest Movement Pulp and paper industry moves to the South: Picture: Greenpeace– Deforestation for pulp and paper tree plantations by APRIL, Riau Province, Sumatra. (APRIL’s European sales office is based in the Netherlands.)
Atlantic Forest in Brazil being destroyed for monoculture tree plantationspulpinc.wordpress.com
US Plantationsfrom paper to bioenergy markets Record fire rages across pine plantations in Georgia, 2007, www.msnbc.msn.com The southern US has been the world’s largest paper producing region, supplying much of the US market, though at a high cost to natural forests, soil and water. Now, pulp mills are closing down to be replaced by…
“Medco is also planning a large joint venture with Korean firm LG International … focusing on one million hectares of timber plantations in Merauke … to produce 1.4 million tons of wood chip and 3.6 million tons of wood pellet a year for energy production.” According to the Jakarta Post, a UK firm is involved in the deal. From: Up for Grabs by Telapak and Environmental Investigation Agency
Deforestation in Modan, Sorong, West Papua, April 2009 From ‘Up for Grabs’ – Soon for wood pellets and wood chips for export?
Wood for bioenergy from the Republic of Congo MagForestry Eucalyptus plantation in the Republic of Congo news.mongabay.com
Forecast by Wise et al, published in Science of what will happen to the world’s forests and grassland with policies to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and which class all bioenergy as ‘carbon neutral’.