Thursday, May 9, 2013

Europa Day 3: Recycling Your Tax Euros into Perverse Subsidies

The battle for EU carbon subsidies has been joined. Dutch energy producer Delta wants to substitute its coal fired power plant for wood combustion and means to get 1 billion euros for it from the EU's giant SDE+ fund totalling 3 billion euros.  But that's not all! True believers in the religion of environmentalism want more.

Biomass  is as bad as any pre Industrial Revolution era energy source.

The Dutch former politician for Wilders' Freedom, Gerton van Unnik kindly submitted the following.

Opponents of the Green Left sustainability industry fear wind and solar energy is going to pay the price for Delta's daring coup. Really! That's because Delta's competitor, Eneco fears there will be no money left for their offshore wind farms.

The Green Left Party and the Animal Rights Party fear not enough of their lucrative, sustainable subsidy billions will be left for birds and bats grinding wind turbines. Looks like the environmental Taliban are pitted against each other in a turf war over their share of the well filled honey pots of SDE+-subsidies.

A biomass fired power plant is nothing but a giant wood stove. Delta plans to run their plant on pellets from American and eastern European forests. The transport alone leaves one giant carbon footprint! 

Environmentalists, the 'green' industry and BIG Government have been colluding to lend biomass the predicate, 'sustainable'. But wiser heads in the UK spoke of "environmental lunacy in Europe". The Economist in a recent article berated wood as sustainable energy source. The author thinks it's bizarre that wood should be classified as "low on carbon" and believes high demand is solely due to the EU sustainable listing. 

The EU's meddling has corrupted the market. The price of wood has gone through the roof. Mills had to close down while paper and furniture sectors are in crisis. 

But that's not all. Even the European Environment Agency had to admit that:
"(the assumption) that biomass combustion would be inherently carbon neutral…is not correct…as it ignores the fact that using land to produce plants for energy typically means that this land is not producing plants for other purposes."
Biomass makes no economic sense:
"Wood produces carbon twice over: once in the power station, once in the supply chain. The process of making pellets out of wood involves grinding it up, turning it into a dough and putting it under pressure. That, plus the shipping, requires energy and produces carbon: 200kg of CO2 for the amount of wood needed to provide 1MWh of electricity." 
Worse than that, biomass produces more CO2 emissions:
"Tim Searchinger of Princeton University calculates that if whole trees are used to produce energy, as they sometimes are, they increase carbon emissions compared with coal (the dirtiest fuel) by 79% over 20 years and 49% over 40 years; there is no carbon reduction until 100 years have passed, when the replacement trees have grown up."
Biomass as sustainable fuel is nothing but a bookkeeping trick for the EU to reach its targets:
"The EU wants to get 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020; it would miss this target by a country mile if it relied on solar and wind alone." 
It's a turf war over subsidies between self labeled 'green' parties in the heavy industry of sustainability.