Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has said that the scandal of power stations burning millions of tonnes of wood pellets from the US, is the result of ‘government prejudice against domestic renewables’.
A new study by Chatham House argues that overall, using woody biomass for energy releases higher levels of emissions than coal. Greens have consistently argued against classifying large scale biomass as a clean and carbon-neutral energy source and have called instead for investment in genuine renewable sources such as solar wind and tidal energy.
“Small scale biomass which uses sustainable wastes or locally coppiced wood has its place in a renewable energy mix. But the harvesting of timber on an industrial scale and shipping it across the Atlantic cannot be considered either sustainable or carbon neutral.
“The real scandal here though is that the use of wood pellets on this scale has come about because of a government prejudiced against domestic renewables. Since I became an MEP, there have been two major off-shore wind farms dropped: Navitus Bay in Dorset and the Atlantic Array off the North Devon coast. Combined, these could have generated enough electricity for over a million and a half homes. And then there have been huge cuts to solar subsidies, and planning regulations that make onshore wind farm development virtually impossible, it is clear we have a government that has an ideological opposition to clean green renewable power.
“The South West could be a green beacon to the rest of the country, showing how it is possible to produce in excess of 100% of our energy needs from renewables. We have the resources, the people, the skills and the ambition to make this happen. All that is missing is the political will.”