Archives par mot-clé : biomass

The Dutch have decided: Burning biomass is not sustainable

by D. Janssen, July 21, 2020 in Euractiv

The Netherlands should phase out the use of biomass for generating electricity as soon as possible, the advisory board of the Dutch government said in a report presented earlier this month.

Biomass is an “indispensable” resource for the circular economy, but burning it is wasteful.

That is the main message of the report issued on 8 July by the Socio-Economic Council (SER), an independent advisory board of the Dutch government consisting of entrepreneurs, employees and independent experts.

In the chemical industry, the building sector and agriculture, biological materials are crucial for the transition to a circular economy, the council writes. But sustainably produced biomass is too scarce to keep using it for the production of heat or electricity, for which other low-carbon and renewable alternatives exist, the report states.

Accordingly, the billions worth of subsidies that were intended for biomass combustion plants should be phased out as well, the advisors say, calling however for measures to preserve “investment security” when designing a phase-out plan.

This means compensation should be handed out to companies who stand to lose out from the abrupt end of bioenergy subsidies.

EU member states are increasingly turning their coal plants into biomass plants in an effort to cut carbon emissions. [Mizzou CAFNR / Flickr]

Three Decades of Mangrove Forest Biomass Change in NSW, Australia

by Lamont et al. , 2020 in CO2Science

Time and again climate alarmists have used computer models to claim that rising CO2 and rising temperatures should be negatively impacting various ecosystems, including forests. Given that these two parameters have supposedly reached unprecedented heights in modern history, reason suggests that this hypothesis of ecosystem decline should be presently evident in observational data. But is it?

Thanks to the work of Lamont et al. (2020) this question can be answered — at least for a mangrove forest ecosystem in New South Wales, Australia.

What the five Australian researchers did in their study was to examine the biomass change of two mangrove forest sites over the period 1989-2018. The two sites included a tall gallery forest composed of Avicennia marina (i.e., Site 1) and an interior, higher elevation, stunted mixed community of A. marina and Aegiceras corniculatum (i.e., Site 2). Data originally gathered in a 1989 survey were compared with new data obtained by Lamont et al. in 2018 and thereafter analyzed for possible trends.

Results of the analysis are summarized in the figure below, showing large gains in both aboveground and below ground biomass between the two survey dates at both mangrove forest sites. Of particular note is “a greater than seven-fold increase in mean aboveground biomass” at Site 2, and “a six-fold and 12-fold increase [in total below-ground root mass] at Site 1 and Site 2, respectively.” Such large biomass increases, not surprisingly, were estimated by the authors to have contributed to large gains in carbon sequestration. In extrapolating such gains to the entire New South Wales region, they estimate mangrove forests have sequestered “at least about 1.8 Tg C” over the past 70 years.

The above findings represent incredible growth benefits reaped by mangrove forest ecosystems during a time of rising atmospheric CO2 and rising temperature, which findings are pretty much the opposite of the doom and gloom predictions offered by climate alarmists.

The Obvious Biomass Emissions Error

by Steve Goreham, February 7, 2019 in WUWT

When Thomas Edison established his Pearl Street power plant in New York City in 1892, he used coal for fuel, not wood. Wood fuel could not compete with the cost of coal in 1892 and it still can’t today. Nevertheless, burning of biomass is widely regarded as sustainable and promoted as a solution for climate change, especially in Europe.

Today, Europe produces about 17 percent of its energy and 29 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Biomass accounts for about 19 percent of the electricity generated from renewables. Since 2000, Europe’s biomass consumption for energy production is up 84 percent.

For example, biomass fuel produced 18 percent of Denmark’s electricity in 2017. For the last two decades, Denmark has been reducing coal-fired power plant output, but adding biomass-powered plants. Since 2000, Denmark’s use of coal fuel for electricity decreased 63 percent. But the use of biomass fuel for electricity in Denmark increased by a factor of five, almost exactly replacing the decline in coal output. About three-quarters of the biomass consumed by Denmark is wood, with most of it imported.

La biomasse globale : de larges incertitudes, également sur le cycle du carbone!

by Prof. Paul Berth, 14 décembre 2018 in ScienceClimatEnergie

Dans un article récent de juin 2018[1], le biologiste Yinon Bar-On et ses collaborateurs ont estimé la biomasse totale de la biosphère actuelle (Bar-On et al. 2018). Pour cela, ils ont simplement estimé les nombres de bactéries, protozoaires, plantes et animaux dans tous les écosystèmes de la planète. En connaissant le poids moyen de chaque organisme, les auteurs ont ensuite réalisé des sommes. Ils arrivent au chiffre final de 550 gigatonnes (Gt) de carbone. Ce chiffre est-il élevé ? Avec quoi peut-on le comparer? Est-il précis ? Quels sont les organismes les plus importants dans la biosphère ? Quelles sont les conséquences pour le cycle du carbone, et donc pour la concentration de CO2 atmosphérique ? Voici toute une série de questions que l’on doit se poser. Nous allons voir que les résultats de Yinon Bar-On sont assez étonnants et qu’ils induisent des conséquences majeures pour le cycle du carbone dans la biosphère.


Figure 1. Biomasse totale de la biosphère, en gigatonnes (Gt). Bar-On et al. (2018)