Here is Ed Davey MP in a government propaganda video about the opening of facilities to handle the biomass Drax now imports, as it’s converting three of the six units at the power station from burning coal to burning biomass.
Plain Speaker has reported on various occasions about how large scale biomass burning is not green or renewable – here and here, for example – and has also pointed out that corporate biomass developers are swallowing massive subsidies paid for by the public.
Destruction of wetland forests in Southern USA to fuel Drax
While Ed Davey was cavorting at Drax, the Dogwood Alliance in the Southern USA, where Drax gets its wood pellets from, was continuing to campaign against the company’s use of unsustainably felled, large whole tree trunks for its pellets.
DRAX GROUP PLC PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2012 – “Biomass transformation well underway”; February 19, 2013, identified Enviva, Green Circle, Pinnacle and Plum Creek as amongst the North American biomass suppliers that it has contracts with for the supply of wood pellets and sustainable forest fibre.
Enviva is the company identified in the Dogwood Alliance video that is felling whole trees in the Southern wetlands, in order to provide wood pellets for European biomass power plants including Drax.
This undermines Drax’s claim that all its biomass is procured against its own robust sustainability criteria, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements and habitat and biodiversity protection.
Scot Quaranda, Campaign Director for Dogwood Alliance, said:
“In the wake of mounting scientific documentation that burning trees for electricity will result in increased carbon emissions compared to fossil fuels, this report underscores the need for new climate policies. Energy companies in the UK, including Drax, RWE and E.On are converting large, old, dirty and inefficient coal power stations to biomass all in the name of reducing carbon emissions, but the reality is that this shift will accelerate climate change while also driving destructive industrial logging in the world’s most biologically diverse temperate forests.”
More info in the downloadable Dogwood Alliance Whole Tree Wood Pellet Production Report.
Drax biomass subsidies start at £180m/year and look set to rise to £726m/year after 2016