Response to a Recent Article on Biomass Subsidies

on Jul 25 in News posted , , by chandlerelp

In a recent BBC Article the issues of Biomass for European electricity was again raised. The concept of “millions of tonnes of wood were being shipped from the USA to help meet Britain’s renewables targets.”
Yes the technical argument will go on as to the relative carbon benefits of trees. Are they carbon neutral, are they partially neutral, are they better that solar, are there no benefits at all?
I think this is a healthy discussion. European (and in this case British) taxpayers who believe that atmospheric carbon dioxide is a real and present threat to our world and especially it’s climate, are determined to do something about it, and are willing to pay for that solution through subsidies.
It is easy to see this discussion in US political and social terms – I think it is a different discussion. What the British public want is value for money. They want carbon reductions and the question they are asking is if US sourced biomass (pellets) given them this benefit.
The challenge for the US forest industry is to ensure that the positive story of a well run and sustainable industry focused on giving it’s customers what they want to pay for is well told and well understood.