– by Jeff Day, August 25, 2016, Bay Journal
Enviva logging for biomass energy (Dogwood Aliiance)
A growing industry that’s harvesting “woody biomass” from forests for energy generation could gain a toehold soon in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Like virtually every other form of energy, it’s also generating intense debate about its environmental impact.
Biomass from trees is already used to generate a small amount of power in the United States; wood chips generate electricity at several small plants owned by Dominion, the Virginia-based energy company. (The term “biomass” generally refers to any plant material used for fuel. Woody biomass is made from trees.)
– by Dr. Luis Contreras
A conspiracy is a secret plan by several parties to do something unlawful or harmful. Everyone involved has something to gain by pretending their actions are legal. Questions are discouraged and replaced by a simple code: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Some conspiracies remain secret for a long time, others are so obvious it’s hard to imagine who was the mastermind behind the plot.
After trying to develop a system to capture and store carbon dioxide underground (CCS), Drax’s 4,000-megawatt coal-fired power station in the U.K. aborted the failed mega-project, wasting $1.5 billion of public funds. Standing forests, giant green ecosystems, are the only known way to take CO2 out of the air using sunlight and water, releasing oxygen, and storing carbon deep in the forest soil. Forests are our best hope for survival. The treasure in the forest is not only the trees you can see from a distance but the life-sustaining world beneath the forest top soil. No trees, no soil, no water, no food, no life.
Drax could have taken out the six coal-fired power plants and built a solar farm in a short amount of time connected to the grid. Complemented with offshore wind farms, it would provide a low-cost, zero-emissions, reliable, and resilient 24/7 solution.
Instead, Drax ignored 21st-century technology and looked for something to burn: trees. The idea of burning trees from far away forests provided a very expensive, poor way to keep the 35-year-old facilities in operation, replacing coal with wood pellets.
The green conspiracy claims: a “sustainable” supply of wood and the illusion burning wood pellets is carbon-neutral.