Biomass fuels – critique of FOE report

Re. the FOE briefing on using woody biomass in power plant. It is dreadful, masquerading as ‘research’ when it is just a re-tread of the appalling ‘Dirtier than Coal’ report from 2012-13. This was based on very biased research by the US legal anti-biofuels ‘hired gun’ Tim Searchinger. This carefully selected amongst the worst out of 234 scenarios developed by DECC researchers (and which was expressly rejected by the same researchers) in order to ‘prove’ bio-power was bad. It does not understand how working forests really operate nor does it try to.

The problem about this constant re-hashing of old discredited work is that it just gives the impression to the public that all bio-energy is bad. Given that FOE are opposed to all biofuels, plus any use of maize as feedstock for Anaerobic Digestion, that’s not far off the mark. Even supposedly good stuff such as modern wood heating gets greeted with suspicion at public meetings because of this type of poor quality work.

Which I guess leaves FOE supporting only solar PV and wind as suitable sustainable according to their standards. Not exactly credible to run the UK economy on.

Underlying the FOE stance on this is a strategy to oppose all bio-energy imports (do they oppose gas, oil and coal imports too?) and to support only a few bits of bio-energy use at the edges. Dis-honest and lacking any sense. The work was paid for by the EC I note! Good use of my taxes?

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