Biomass and waste incineration not as green as pretended?
While the CO2 taxes Europe is imposing are getting higher every year, there seems to be a problem in the sector of green energy production. International agreements make clear that CO2 emissions have to be reduced and that sustainable energy sources have to be prioritized. But what about biomass energy plants and waste incineration?
Researchers of CE Delft (an independent research bureau specialized in environmental issues) have found that waste processing companies are stashing away half of their actual CO2 emissions. In theory, biomass plants and waste incineration processes are considered ‘climate-neutral’, but in reality, this is not the case.
CE Delft calls these CO2 emissions biogenic CO2. As the raw materials burned, gassed, or fermented are of natural origin, the reasoning is that these plants and trees will recuperate this CO2 through growing. But the speed at which CO2 is blown in the atmosphere seems far higher than plants kan keep up with.
Year after year, substantial amounts of CO2 is thus released. The Dutch incineration plants are creating as much surplus CO2 as a midsize coal power plant. That’s why CE Delft is asking for a serious political debate on so-called bio-energy.
The way these ‘green companies’ are dissimulating their real CO2 emissions is in stark contrast with the rising costs of CO2 taxes, the rest of the industry is paying. Moreover, there’s still a big discussion going on about the local pollution problems these incineration plants create.