Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Saving For a Space Ship

Biomass boilers burning wood chip scandal blows up

Recommended Posts

now blowing up in N.I.   I knew people on similar schemes in England & Wales, all seemed like a funding grab / grant fraud  

Foster announces botched heating scheme inspection

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38289461

Renewable Heat Incentive scheme: No minutes of meetings on energy 'scandal'


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-37777592

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not heard about this one but I did see a programme about shipping biomass pellets from America in the 100 of thousands of tons to fuel drax for a couple of hours, seemed to be a hugely inefficient and very expensive way of getting fuel to the power station.

Still those American renewable foresters are doing alright.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know some businesses round here that bought large biomass systems to dry wood chips to sell to others with similar systems. They looked at the scheme and could not believe what the government were willing to pay to generate heat for their own use. The sub is well above the cost of producing the heat. You can guess what has happened, complete and utter abuse of the system. Some companies are drying wood chip well past the moisture content needed some others are spraying chips with water to make the system work harder. The sad thing is felled trees can be dried in stacks for 1-2 years then chipped without the need to heat the chipped wood to dry. Very badly thought out. I hate think much is wasted in this scheme. The only good point I can think of is the scheme has now ended but maybe more efficient biomass practises may arise from the after mass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, frederico said:

Not heard about this one but I did see a programme about shipping biomass pellets from America in the 100 of thousands of tons to fuel drax for a couple of hours, seemed to be a hugely inefficient and very expensive way of getting fuel to the power station.

Still those American renewable foresters are doing alright.

Also ..

.Europe’s green energy policy is a disaster for the environment

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2114993-europes-green-energy-policy-is-a-disaster-for-the-environment/

Quote

The European Union’s proposals for revising its renewable energy policies are greenwashing and don’t solve the serious flaws, say environmental groups.

The EU gets 65 per cent of its renewable energy from biofuels – mainly wood – but it is failing to ensure this bioenergy comes from sustainable sources, and results in less emissions than burning fossil fuels. Its policies in some cases are leading to deforestation, biodiversity loss and putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than burning coal.

“Burning forest biomass on an industrial scale for power and heating has proved disastrous,” says Linde Zuidema, bioenergy campaigner for forest protection group Fern. “The evidence that its growing use will increase emissions and destroy forests in Europe and elsewhere is overwhelming.”

 

 

 

On 30 November the European Commission unveiled a draft “clean energy” package for the period up to 2030. On the surface, these proposals address some of the issues with existing renewable energy policies.

But environmental groups who have been analysing the proposals say that the changes will make little difference.

“It’s almost worse than doing nothing,” says Sini Erajaa, the bioenergy policy officer for BirdLife Europe & Central Asia, who describes the changes as greenwashing.

Burning biomass

For instance, one proposed change is to apply the EU’s sustainability criteria to biomass used in heat and power plants whose output is 20 megawatts or more. “This means, for instance, that electricity and heat from biomass have to produce at least 80 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels by 2021 and 85 per cent less by 2026,” states a memo on the revised renewable energy directive.

You might think this will ensure that burning biomass does not result in higher greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuel use, but far from it. That statement is misleading because it does not make clear that the EU’s method for calculating emissions assumes burning biomass produces no CO2 at all. “Emissions from the fuel in use shall be taken to be zero for biofuels and bioliquids,” states a 2009 directive.

The assumption is that these emissions don’t have to be counted because the growth of plants soaks up as much CO2 as is emitted when they are burned. But this assumption is not true on the timescales that matter for limiting climate change. Burning wood can result in higher emissions than burning coal.

 

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if the CO2 calculations include the energy used in transporting -shipping, road haulage, trains and manufacture?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, hp72 said:

I wonder if the CO2 calculations include the energy used in transporting -shipping, road haulage, trains and manufacture?

They are supposed to. To qualify for the subsidy, biomass electricity generators have to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the government that the net CO2 emissions are <285 g/kWh. 

That is a surprisingly low bar, considering existing UK gas power stations get around 360 gCO2/kWh, with state-of-the-art new build getting around 330 gCO2/kWh. Nobody is building these, but Drax are getting £100/MWh inflation linked, to convert their coal hoppers to wood pellets.

In the case of Drax, they claim under 200 gCO2/kWh. However, there are concerns from independent scientists about the methodology used to calculate this. While this would be the case for use of a waste stream, the demand for wood pellets for Drax is so great that it has been alleged that mature forests are being used primarily as fuel. If mature slow, growing trees are used, then over a 20 year time frame the net effect could be equivalent to 1800 gCO2/kWh (nearly 2x the carbon intensity of coal), reducing to close to 900 g/CO2/kWh over a longer time frame. The problem with this analysis is that the assumptions you use dramatically change the results.

 

https://www.ft.com/content/6f242a06-d388-11e3-b0be-00144feabdc0

http://resource.co/article/UK/Biomass_039dirtier039_coal_according_new_report-2429

Edited by ChumpusRex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 13/12/2016 at 9:12 PM, frederico said:

Not heard about this one but I did see a programme about shipping biomass pellets from America in the 100 of thousands of tons to fuel drax for a couple of hours, seemed to be a hugely inefficient and very expensive way of getting fuel to the power station.

Still those American renewable foresters are doing alright.

 

I saw that programme. Fascinating unwitting insight into the government's full retard 'green' sustainable energy charade.

It was quite cool the way they lifted that little bulldozer into the hold of the bulk carrier and drove it around on top of the pellets though.

Edited by SNACR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, hp72 said:

I wonder if the CO2 calculations include the energy used in transporting -shipping, road haulage, trains and manufacture?

I seriously doubt it.  The EROEI for some of this magic renewable schemes is pathetic, yet they are sold to the public as a panacea.

 

Also, burning wood (sorry biomass) does not seem that environmentally friendly, it's almost like we are going backwards rather than forwards.

 

I think I read somewhere that 65% of Europe's renewables are actually biomass.  Which I think would surprise a lot of people who tout the European renewables success story.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 10:36 AM, hp72 said:

I wonder if the CO2 calculations include the energy used in transporting -shipping, road haulage, trains and manufacture?

About as likely as Prince Charles factoring in his private jet and heating his stately homes in his global warming lectures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/13/2016 at 8:34 PM, Saving For a Space Ship said:

now blowing up in N.I.   I knew people on similar schemes in England & Wales, all seemed like a funding grab / grant fraud  

Foster announces botched heating scheme inspection

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38289461

Renewable Heat Incentive scheme: No minutes of meetings on energy 'scandal'


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-37777592

At least in NI they've got round to investigating this scandal. In the rest of the UK the scandal of the biomass RHI is under the radar. I'm aware of examples where businesses are heating empty buildings to claim RHI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/14/2016 at 10:11 PM, reddog said:

I seriously doubt it.  The EROEI for some of this magic renewable schemes is pathetic, yet they are sold to the public as a panacea.

 

Also, burning wood (sorry biomass) does not seem that environmentally friendly, it's almost like we are going backwards rather than forwards.

 

I think I read somewhere that 65% of Europe's renewables are actually biomass.  Which I think would surprise a lot of people who tout the European renewables success story.  

Much of the 65% comes from biomass and incineration of waste. Sweden now has a problem that they've built so many waste incinerators that they are now importing waste to keep the lights on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They don't call them "Boiler room scams" for nothing 

 From 1 yr ago,

'Green' biomass boilers may waste billions in public money

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/14/green-biomass-boilers-may-waste-billions-public-money

2 yrs ago

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5119971

Quote

I've since done a google search and seen a site that offers free boiler and installation and they get the government money back. This is a minefield of information, is it a scam or worth doing.

....

It's a classic scam opportunity – persuade the victim to lay out a large sum up front with the promise of seven years of rewards that more than cover the outlay. 

There are many risks. The biggest in the biomass heating industry is ongoing maintenance and support. These things can break down and you need to rely on the installer to be available to support it for a long time after installation. 

There's quite a few tales of woe on this forum, so do a search for biomass or pellet boiler.

Having said that, the MCS and RHI schemes are a crock of ***t – UK prices of EU approved biomass boilers are double their German or Polish price because they have to be MCS approved and installed to qualify for the RHI payment. It's a rip off and the industry is making a killing at the expense of anyone who buys.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully this will force the issue and means we'll get an investigation as to why exactly the NI scheme was so ludicrously generous.....  Though more likely, we'll be told it was 'incompetent civil servants' as is par for explaining away government corruption when it comes to light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, hotairmail said:

Half a £billion in NI alone!

The reason it's has got so much attention and generated so much local political friction is that for once the subsidy comes out of the Stormont budget allocation and not directly from the wider UK taxpayers pocket as is more often the case with schemes in NI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 2buyornot2buy said:

As deputy First Minister.

So only from a bit of the money.

I think a resignation in this sort of circs should be from the entire job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently in NI they got £160 for every £100 of wood chips burnt.  Free money, so people have been heating empty sheds and similar....!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, SarahBell said:

I think a resignation in this sort of circs should be from the entire job.

His resignation from the position of Deputy First Minister, and stated intention of his party not to appoint a replacement, means the Assembly will be dissolved in around one week before an election six weeks later. He'll lose his seat as a member of the Assembly at the moment of that dissolution. The other position he holds, which is unpaid, is as leader of his party in NI. It appears that for health reasons a replacement will likely be appointed to that position. Short of abandoning support for the peace agreements and institutions built on them, he really doesn't have any more cards to play. Given his age, health, pension entitlements and relatively modest lifestyle, he has no personal material interest in any particular outcome.

The NI Chamber of Commerce has already expressed its frustration at the news, having hoped for a stable business environment following the latest agreement referred to as the 'Fresh Start.' So, on topic for the forum, this represents more bad news for the NI economy, though for the moment not as serious as a collapse of the peace agreements and institutions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, SarahBell said:

So only from a bit of the money.

I think a resignation in this sort of circs should be from the entire job.

He's effectively resigned from his job and brought the assembly down with it. 

 

He wasn't a fault here BTW it was he counterpart the First Minister (shared department) who in here previous ministerial posting oversaw the implementation of the scheme. 

He basically resigned because she wouldn't.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Sour Mash said:

Hopefully this will force the issue and means we'll get an investigation as to why exactly the NI scheme was so ludicrously generous.....  Though more likely, we'll be told it was 'incompetent civil servants' as is par for explaining away government corruption when it comes to light.

Difficult to see how they could blame in on civil servants. The scandal here is that the civil servants actually sent warning letters to the ministers involved detailing excessive claims, and recommending the early closure of the scheme. In response to this, further investigations by civil servants were blocked, and the scheme extended. 

Then there are the links between the company supplying the wood pellets (Balcas Ltd) and the department for the economy (who ran the RHI scheme)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ChumpusRex said:

Difficult to see how they could blame in on civil servants. The scandal here is that the civil servants actually sent warning letters to the ministers involved detailing excessive claims, and recommending the early closure of the scheme. In response to this, further investigations by civil servants were blocked, and the scheme extended. 

Then there are the links between the company supplying the wood pellets (Balcas Ltd) and the department for the economy (who ran the RHI scheme)...

Whoops.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   100 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.