Energy’s environmental costs and falling between the cracks / Energy / The Foreigner

Energy’s environmental costs and falling between the cracks. Norway continually strives for innovative technologies. This includes electricity supply. One Norwegian product is timber-based biocoal. The advantages are explained as supporting the Norwegian forest industry, being useable in existing coal-fired plants, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Yet limited independent research has so far been conducted across biocoal products. The most efficient process for producing pellets of different forms is still being tested.

energy, biocoal, woodpellets, environment, climatechange, co2, paywall



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Energy’s environmental costs and falling between the cracks

Published on Tuesday, 28th February, 2017 at 13:13 under the energy category, by Ilan Kelman.

Norway continually strives for innovative technologies. This includes electricity supply.

Seeing forest electricity for the trees?
Seeing forest electricity for the trees?
Photo: Ilan Kelman


One Norwegian product is timber-based biocoal. The advantages are explained as supporting the Norwegian forest industry, being useable in existing coal-fired plants, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Yet limited independent research has so far been conducted across biocoal products. The most efficient process for producing pellets of different forms is still being tested.

As well, any calculation of environmental costs and benefits must factor in the pellets' production and transportation. This is true also for fossil fuels and other electricity generation mechanisms such as nuclear power.

Such calculations are not always provided. These other electricity supply forms have extensive waste as well.

Starting assumptions and life cycle stages not considered affect the final, calculated results. A recent study concluded that generating electricity from some wood chips and pellets is not always climate friendly, once the entire process is considered.

Any study has its own bounds. Some processes and factors might not be included. Solutions might be viable for the problems raised.

All electricity supplies and analyses of them have advantages and limitations. Innovative and independent science can verify which approaches work best.

Ilan Kelman is a Reader in Risk, Resilience and Global Health at University College London.



Published on Tuesday, 28th February, 2017 at 13:13 under the energy category, by Ilan Kelman.

This post has the following tags: energy, biocoal, woodpellets, environment, climatechange, co2, paywall.





  
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