Mindless Renewable Energy Targets

In the almost mindless race to meet the United Kingdom’s emission targets the government has decided to subsidise, at taxpayer’s expense, the generation of electricity in a way which will mean the creation of far more greenhouse gas emissions.

This strange and dangerous decision has arisen because emission targets by the European Union and by the government make no distinction between clean renewable energy and dirty renewable energy. Clean renewable energy is, of course, a definition of relative cleanliness, not one of absolute cleanliness and dirty renewable energy is simply energy that produces relatively large amounts of emissions.

Clean renewable energy includes generating of energy by such means as solar water heating, wind turbines and photovoltaic energy, where you use the infinitely renewable resources of light and wind. Wave and tidal energy also falls into this category.

Dirty renewable energy is energy generated from sources that involve burning some kind of crop; burning ethanol derived from corn has been proved to be renewable but far dirtier, in terms of emissions, than burning oil. The fact that an energy source is renewable or potentially renewable does not make it benign as far as the environment is concerned, but governments fail to realise and act on the important distinction between clean energy and dirty energy.

The latest folly is the decision to burn wood at Drax power station in North Yorkshire, instead of coal. Burning wood is technically renewable because you can grow more wood. You cannot grow more coal. However wood burning creates as many greenhouse gases as coal burning so the harm to the environment will continue at Drax when they start to burn wood.

There is not enough locally grown wood to serve Drax. There is not enough British cropped wood to serve Drax. Wood, with its low calorific value in relation to its volume, will be shipped from all over the world and transported to Drax in order that it may burn there. Of course in most cases new trees will be replanted which will absorb some of the carbon dioxide emissions but overall the effect on the environment will be as damaging as continuing to burn coal.

Cutting emissions at Drax would be improved if instead of burning wood or coal the power station burnt natural gas, which produces about a third of the emissions per kWh that burning wood or coal produces. Burning woods does not count towards the emission targets, even though burning wood creates as many emissions as burning coal. A metric tonne of bituminous coal (the sort commonly burnt at UL power stations) yields 27-30 GJ or energy  A metric tonne of bone dry wood yields 18-22 GJ. The simple maths indicates that the fuel transportation environmental impact will increase by at least 50% when Drax starts to burn wood. This in itself will create more emissions than coal burning does at present.

All of which goes to show that the target becomes more important than the underlying rationale for the target.

7 Responses

  1. Listen to this.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2227654/Herman-Van-Rompuy-deals-blow-Salmonds-Scottish-independence-campaign.html

    Soon it won’t matter and the problems will be realised ten fold.

  2. To compare apples with apples you must also look the whole life cycle of windmills and PV to judge whether it is dirty or not.

    Ignoring the visual blight, windmills need considerably more copper wiring to connect to the grid than does a power station. Also, wind is inconsistent so it requires power station (spinning) back up unless we are prepared to only have electricity in windy conditions. So windmills do not obviate power stations. This country is already stockpiling disused carbon fibre rotor blades which are past their useful life and cannot presently be recyled.

    PV cells are manufactured from a range of rare and/or dangerous metals/chemicals. So they ‘might’ be clean at the point of use but not at the point of manufacture and certianly not at the point of recyling.

    On the other hand wood is carbon negative during its growth so manufacture of wood is actually infinitely cleaner to produce than windmills or PV. In fact there is a positive beneficial spiral in growing wood to burn because the growing wood sucks in the carbon dioxide.

    Turbines produce AC electricity at much higher voltages than windmills or PV so there is no need to lift the voltage or inverters to transmit (relatively) economically.

    Although I believe there should be no subsidies, it seems to me that PV and windmills are already subsidised so why not wood?

    In my view the whole mess is due to false science which claims that CO2 is a dangerous greenhous gas. More worryingly, the EU climate change policy seems to be less concerned about ensuring stable sustainable power but more concerned with controlling and reducing energy consumption.

    As a parting thought, just think what power companies, on behalf of the EU, might do with smart meters… Windmills becalmed…..off. Windmills overloaded …..off. Christmas day turkey in oven….on for 2 hours then off at 3.30 after the EU president’s speech.

    • Good post Chris

      The carbon neutral avenue of growing timber has been mentioned here before, but never gets much air time anywhere else for obvious reasons.
      Solar water heating should be given complete zero rated status for its purchase, as it does not give off any particulates nor gasses after it is initially manufactured, wind and PV should be heavily taxed.

      The coal issue is the achilles heel in all of this global debatical, here in the Uk we have the best technology that enables scrubbing and filyering of the harmfull particulates to be removed, ensuring no harmful dusting of the atmosphere, seeding of the clouds etc.

      There are triple satndards in our midst, all the cheaper goods from the the slavery con-glomerates are being allowed to use much older technologies for creating coal fired electricity, and in turn the globalists are using that true particulate pollution to tag it with a carbon tax. This model is the most damaging of all, and we are paying for it in self destructing hidden triple taxes, which are being used to take over the global labour market, under the guise of global warming/climate change.

      The bio burning model is also creating new laws and policy to bring in new licences for anyone wanting to burn their own logs or recycled engine oil burners for workshops. soon there won’t be any alternative fuel that won’t be taxed or licenced in some way.

      They are taking it all for themselves, and once they have the net complete, they will reverse policy and use nuclear, coal and gas for electricity production and the ready oil for controlling their new world empire, by sea and air.

  3. There are infinite problems headed our way thanks to how we’ve treated the Earth as a whole since the dawn of man, the approaching ones though, overpopulation will lead to our economy becoming depressive with an extremely low middle and bottom class, and those in upper class families will be even higher on the chart. Its the way the government wants it. They made immigration policy as open as an easy-bake-oven. Its disgusting.

    -Sharone Tal

    • Have you ever notice when the PTB procrastinate on the over population agenda, they always air footage of the most crowded cities of the world like Dheli, or Mexico city, when all around them are millions of acres of land with nobody in it, their agenda is patently ridiculous, false at best. Take every person here in the Uk and stand a person in the middle of every acre and you would see nobody.

      If people were trained to think responsibly and do things and own things in moderation, things would be far easier for themselves and for the mother of all, to support us without a profit over that which we call reality.

      The United Nations is supporting this belief and depopulation could very easily get out of hand. One traight they are now looking at is an end of life policy, where around a thousand doctors have already signed up to the idea of justifiable eugenics, where they can without consulting the families, remove sustinance on someone deemed past it.

      The planet could easily self depopulate towards a natural equilibrium with our whole, by being taught to think responsibly, but there is a collection of profit blinded elite supplying an unresponsibility model to prevent that outlook from gaining a foothold.

      We as a species could do what is right if we stopped viewing the soap opera we call life, and looked toward what is true reality.

      Coats of many colours, little boxes that all look the same, a mind game of waste and so what, to name but a few.

  4. Oh fantastic, awesome short article! Many thanks for sharing.
    I actually enjoyed this and definately will talk about it with my acquaintances and relatives.

  5. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the internet.

    I’m going to recommend this site!

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