Corporate biomass developers stand to make millions a year from taxpayers’ subsidies

Corporate Watch summarises the developing biomass industry in the UK.

“Corporate developers of biomass stand to gain vast amounts of money – one, Renewable Energy Systems (RES) will make between £43 and £58 million a year in subsidies from it, for example – so they tend to claim that it is green, clean, and provides jobs. Companies involved in developing biomass – British Sugar, Drax, E.ON, Future Biogas, Estover Energy and RES Group – have launched a campaign to persuade the UK Government to provide even more support for biomass. Their campaign has been endorsed by the Renewable Energy Association, the body which represents renewable energy producers in the UK.”

Given these potential freebies, these companies are anxious to promote the idea that large scale biomass is indeed a renewable energy and that its use will reduce carbon emissions. However, there is growing evidence that large scale biomass energy is unsustainable, (destroying forests and the carbon sinks they embody), and emits more carbon emissions than burning coal, (creating a carbon debt that will take between 30-70 years to repay after forests are replanted and come to maturity).

Why these massive companies need taxpayer’s subsidies is a good question. The State of Massachussetts has answered it with the decision that biomass electricity generation is not eligible for subsidies.

Another good question is who will control the so-called green economy?

Updated 25th Jan 2013 with link to Sustainable Biomass: A Modern Myth report.

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