HomeWeather NewsThe contradictory Green policies to limit CO2 emissions – Watts Up With That?

The contradictory Green policies to limit CO2 emissions – Watts Up With That?

From edmhdotme


Currently the burning of Biomass is designated as “CO2 neutral” by Western Nations to give the appearance of reducing CO2 emissions and thus controlling Climate Change.

The designation of Biomass burning as Carbon neutral is essentially self-defeating as:

  • burning Biomass massively increases the instantaneous output of CO2 emissions.
  • those instantaneous CO2 emissions from burning Biomass effectively cancel out  any and all potential CO2 emissions savings from the deployment of Weather-Dependent “Renewable” technologies
  • is hugely destructive of natural environments and habitats wherever harvested at the necessary industrial scale.

Germany and the UK are leaders in the development of “Renewable” Energy in Europe. This post uses 2019 hourly generation datasets showing the scale of various generation technologies over the year.  It combines that power output data with data on the CO2 emissions of different fossil fuels to show the extent of CO2 emissions in 2019.

It questions the efficacy of using Biomass to reduce CO2 emissions at all, as

in both contexts, the scale of CO2 emissions from Biomass cancels out any potential CO2 emissions savings made from using Weather-Dependent “Renewables”. 

So all the excess expenditures and government subsidies for Weather-Dependent “Renewable” have done nothing to reduce Global CO2 emissions overall.

CO2 emissions from Fossil fuels used in power generation and progress of de-carbonisation

The characteristics of Fossil Fuels and Biomass resulting from their molecular structure, their production processes and their flammability determine their CO2 emissions characteristics as shown below:

  • the least CO2 emissions for the power produced results from burning Natural Gas, which can be usefully derived from Fracking:  this has been the origin of the massive CO2 emission reductions achieved in the USA.
  • all forms of Coal produce roughly twice as much CO2 for the power they produce when compared to Natural Gas.
  • however, the clear-felling virgin forest, then using some of the timber itself or Fossil fuels for drying, processing and transporting the wood to burn in remote power stations results in roughly 3.6 times the CO2 emissions of Natural Gas for the same power output.

Realistic mechanisms for CO2 emissions reduction

The progress of decarbonisation since 1990 that has been made worldwide and the short term effect of the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen below, expressed as CO2 emissions per head of population.

It is clear from the chart above that there are only limited ways that effectively reduce CO2 emissions at scale from power generation:

  1. the massive use of Nuclear energy, as in France where CO2 emissions / head have now fallen to a level below the Global average, following the French 50+ year commitment to Nuclear power.  The French now have the lowest CO2 emissions value per head of any developed Nation.  The French thus prove the point of the efficacy of using Nuclear power to limit CO2 emissions.  Nuclear power has contributed to a CO2 reduction of ~200million tonnes per year since 1990, (~-28%).  France now produces less than 1% of Global CO2 emissions, down from ~1.5% in 1990:  this represents a reduction of 2019 Global CO2 emissions of ~0.6%.
  2. the Fracking revolution, as in the USA with the market driven transition from Coal to Gas-firing for power generation have resulted in an annual emissions reduction of ~1,600 million tonnes per year, (~-33%), since 2000.  The USA now produces less than 14% of Global CO2 emissions, down from ~22% in the year 2000:  this represents a reduction of 2019 Global CO2 emissions of ~4.7%.
  3. in the UK, the earlier 1990’s policy, “Dash for Gas”, substantially has replaced Coal for power generation by Natural Gas.  This has contributed to a CO2 reduction of ~160 million tonnes per year since 1995, (~-30%).  The UK is responsible for ~1.0% of Global CO2 emissions:  this represents a reduction of 2019 Global CO2 emissions of ~0.47%.

Illogically these effective mechanisms for CO2 emissions reduction, (were that an essential and  worthwhile objective), are rejected by “Green Thinking”.   The use of Weather-Dependent “Renewable”, (Wind and Solar), may not have any direct fuel costs but they do heavily rely on the use of Fossil fuels for their manufacture, installation and maintenance.

Even though their “fuel” is nominally free, Weather Dependent “Renewable” are not capable of achieving true CO2 neutrality.  The CO2 emissions and Energy return from their mandated manufacture, installation and maintenance are unlikely to cover the CO2 emissions savings they might achieve over their service life.

The context for Western CO2 reduction policies

Electric power generation is responsible for roughly 1/4 of a developed Nation’s CO2 emissions the remaining 3/4  being emitted from space heating, transport and industry.  So tackling the fuels used for electricity generation only affects a part of the CO2 emissions problem.  Coping with these other sources of CO2 emissions will prove to be much more problematic and more costly to achieve.

It should be noted that in 2020 the EU(28) as a whole emitted less than 9% of the Global CO2 burden:  Of that CO2 burden UK emissions were ~1.0% Global CO2 and Germany’s CO2 emissions amounted to about 1.9%.  Whatever actions are taken by Western nations are only ever going affect a marginal amount of the Global “CO2 emissions burden”, which is considered to be so damaging by Climate activist thinking.

So, any action in the Western world, where there is an aggressive movement to take action to reduce CO2 emissions, can only be self-harming in the face of the inevitable growth in demand from the developing Nations requiring enhanced access to reliable electric power.

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