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Conference looks at woody biomass sustainability issues - 16 Oct 2017




Towards the beginning of the month, a conference in Edinburgh, Scotland convened to discuss the future of bioenergy.

This year’s 'Biofuels International and Bioenergy Insight' conference covered the future of bioethanol, advanced biofuel developments and an uncertain policy landscape.

A range of speakers from the industry looked at new advances and how low-carbon fuels would be able to tackle emissions. For example, bioenergy produced from wastes are able to offer more than 95 per cent carbon savings as compared to fuels from healthy trees or crops.

William Strauss, founder and president of consultancy Future Metrics, talked about the recent trends and forecasts in global wood pellet supply.

He described how the wood pellet market had experienced growth rates over the last few years of around 10 per cent annually: from around 19.5 million tonnes in 2012 to 28.6 million tonnes in 2016.

Strauss touched on some of the sustainability issues that come with using wood pellets. He said the “foundation of carbon emissions mitigation from the use of wood pellets happens because the net carbon added to the atmosphere from the combustion of wood pellets is zero”. He went on to say that as long as the growth rate equals or exceeds the harvest rate, the net stock of carbon held in the forest landscape is held constant or is increasing. However, this is not entirely accurate. Research has shown that it can take many decades before the 'carbon debt' is equalised, and the damage done in that time can be catastrophic.

Other speakers also addressed the topic of sustainability with regards to biomass, and how woody biomass continues to be challenged by lobby groups and think tanks and that the main consistent accusation levelled against biomass is that pellet demand causes felling of trees.

 


 

Blog Archive


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Study faults 'conflicts of interest' within biomass industry
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Accounting rule loopholes bad news for our forests
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Replanting trees doesn't fix climate change, scientists warn
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Waste from coffee and poultry provide viable bio-fuel option
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Tree-planting has limited affect on climate change, study finds
30 May 2017 - Click for More


More renewable power than ever before, so why are we still using biomass?
25 May 2017 - Click for More


Is bioenergy increasing emissions in Europe?
15 May 2017 - Click for More


MPs slam government’s carbon record
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Biomass deemed ‘carbon neutral’ in US spending bill
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UK has first coal-free day since Industrial Revolution - but biomass isn’t the answer
25 Apr 2017 - Click for More


Scores protest outside Drax AGM
13 Apr 2017 - Click for More


View full news archive

 

 

 

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