Hardwood forests cut down to feed Drax Power plant, Channel 4 Dispatches claims
Ecologist Apr 16, 2018. Typical of the ongoing debate about forest biomass energy. A hardwood forest is clearcut in Virginia USA to make woodchips for Drax Power in the UK. More carbon dioxide is released from burning the wood pellets than from burning coal to produce the same amount of energy. Some excerpts:
The biomass industry and government argue that because wood is a renewable source of energy and trees can be replanted to reabsorb carbon dioxide this policy is good for the environment.
Andy Koss, chief executive of Drax Power, defended the policy of burning wood pellets in an interview with the programme: “I am very comfortable that all the material what we source meets regulatory standards in the UK and meets our very strict sustainability criteria.”
Koss said the site Dispatches had seen being logged was atypical and that the “vast majority” of its wood comes from residue and waste material. He said: “We’ve obviously looked at this as well. The site was a working forest, it was left unmanaged.
“The owner of that forest wanted to clear this using standard harvesting techniques to turn it back into a working forest. That forest is being regrown. We know the owner of that particular tract – that will grow and there will be more carbon absorbed.”