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How progressive: ship dead trees 5,000km and burn them (use £450m for kindling)

It would make any hunter gatherer proud.

[The Times] Britain is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds subsidizing power stations to burn American wood pellets that do more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, a study has found.

Chopping down trees and transporting wood across the Atlantic Ocean to feed power stations produces more greenhouse gases than much cheaper coal, according to the report. It blames the rush to meet EU renewable energy targets, which resulted in ministers making the false assumption that burning trees was carbon-neutral.

The UK tribes can thank chief Huhne (Energy and Climate secretary) for the 7.5 million tonnes of dead trees otherwise known as biomass — which  mostly come all the way from the US and Canada.

Naturally, doing something this improbable takes a lot of money.

Drax, Britain’s biggest power station, received more than £450 million in subsidies in 2015 for burning biomass, which was mostly American wood pellets.

Curiously, there are over 200 trillion cubic feet of dead trees stored under Lancashire. They may have been very very small trees, like algae sized, but nonetheless, 4,999 kilometers closer. Apparently when all the trees of Canada and the US are used up, and the UK moves out of the Wood Age, it will have some spare gas  to heat UK homes for the next 1,200 years.

The climate debate has now moved on to arguing whether trees are renewable. There’s a kind of death-spiral bickering between different varieties of “renewables” beasts. If it takes 200 years to grow a tree back, and you believe the models that are 97% wrong, oceans might boil before the carbon is back in the tree.This is just another carbon accounting bun-fight.

The report author, Mr Bracks, calls the subsidies ridiculous, but only because the money could have gone to “zero carbon” wind or solar instead. Shame he didn’t point that out then, when he was the special advisor to Chris Huhne.

Having poured countless millions into Biomass, by a remarkable coincidence, three months after Huhne got out of jail for lying about speeding fines, he was appointed European Director of a company called Zilkha Biomass.

Wood pellets fuel Huhne’s journey into private sector

He is not the only one to follow this gravy laden career path:

Several other former energy ministers have gone on to lucrative jobs in the sector. Sir Ed Davey, the Lib Dem who replaced Mr Huhne as energy and climate secretary but lost his seat in 2015, advises three companies on low-carbon energy projects. Lord Barker of Battle, the Tory former energy minister, took up posts advising a renewable heat business and a solar panel company. The appointments of both were approved by Acoba.

Pretending to save the world can be a lucrative career.

 They claim to reduce greenhouse gases,
From mulched trees as burnt bio masses,
By importing wood pellets,
The renewable zealots,
Are behaving like right silly asses.

 — Ruairi

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