Biofuelwatch Comment on DECC’s Bioenergy Strategy 26 April

Responding to the announcement from the Department of Energy and Climate Change today (26 April 2012), as part of its newly published ‘Bioenergy Strategy 2012’ that it wishes to support a move towards UK bioenergy contributing 11% of total UK energy consumption by 2020, Almuth Ernsting, Biofuelwatch co-director said,

‘The UK Government wants to meet the 2020 renewable energy target through burning biomass and biofuels on an unprecedented scale, with biomass and biofuels set to account for more than two-thirds of our renewable energy. DECC’s plans would see 80 million tonnes of wood burned in UK power stations each year, when UK supplies are less than 10 million per year. This is an enviromental catastrophe, as it will mean logging in forests worldwide to burn in domestic power stations. This will lead to more deforestation and more land grabbing in the global south as developing countries will bear the burden of supplying the new demand from the UK.’

‘The Government’s claim that burning biomass is a climate friendly solution is contradicted by sound science. Logging and burning trees has been shown to produce more carbon dioxide than any fossil fuels that biomass seeks to replace for decades, if not centuries. Leading scientists from the European Environment Agency have warned that bioenergy can be worse than the fossil fuels they seek to replace. Moreover, biomass power stations are typically as inefficient as coal-fired power stations.’

‘What kind of renewable energy policy promotes deforestation, worsens climate change and gives old coal power stations a new lease of life? We call on the Government to instead favour genuine renewables like wind, solar, tidal, and wave, which we have in abundance.’