Burning Forests for Electricity!?!

VicForests must go

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tax-payer sponsored environmental demolition must end and VicForests must be relegated to history, is the message Environment East Gippsland is sending to the Victorian Government after the exposé that $5.5 million “Community Service Obligation” is funding public forest destruction annually in the region.

“Environment groups are feeling vindicated across the state after decades of highlighting this fact and denial by VicForests”, said Jill Redwood of EEG. “We have to thank the whistle-blower within VicForests for helping uncover the scandal”.

Ten good reasons to reject the inclusion of native forest biomass in the renewable energy target

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

1. If the senate allows the inclusion of ‘waste’ from native forest logging as a biomass fuel for biomass power in the RET, whole trees will be burnt for electricity in furnaces.

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) stated in the 2009 submission to the National Energy Policy Framework:'wherever forests are managed under Commonwealth and/or State forestmanagement regulations, the products of any harvesting operation should be eligible to produce renewable energy under the Expanded National Renewable Energy Target Scheme’.
The native forest logging industry will be using whole trees as biomass fuel for biomass power generation, rather than offcuts and residues from the forest floor, which it would be uneconomic to do. 1The mechanised infrastructure allowing residues from the forest floor to be extracted economically is not available, and the cost of manual extraction would be prohibitive.

RETs and Gippsland forests

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Abbott governments plan to define the burning of native forest logs in electricity generators as a ‘renewable energy’ under the planned RET scheme is under sustained attack from environment groups.

“The ALP leader, Bill Shorten is also refusing to make a clear commitment that would ensure native forests will not be power station fodder for years to come”, said Jill Redwood from EEG.

Burning forests for electricity

Sunday, May 10, 2015

carbon emmissions by fuel typeIt’s crazy!  When the RET is supposed to be bringing emissions down, the Abbott government is prepared to increase them by burning the land’s greatest carbon stores - our forests – in electricity furnaces. This would have higher emissions than coal (per unit of energy produced – see illustration). It would take 200 years to recapture from the atmosphere the carbon released by burning. We don’t have that long. This is not ‘renewable’

Forests store millions of  tonnes of carbon. It’s insanity to burn them and worse still, actually pay  the logging industry to do this under the name of renewable energy and the financial incentives this offers.

It’s in the balance RIGHT NOW. The cross-benchers/independents could hold the key. They are being lobbied heavily by the industry.

YOU CAN HELP  ->  ->  ->  contact these senators (below) and politely ask they consider what the Abbott government really is advocating. There is no ‘waste’ from a forest until it is cut down.  RETs are meant to reduce pollution, not increase it. If the logging industry is looking for a new market it should move into the plantation sector and burn that waste – not the lungs of the planet.

The new th-RET to our forests

Friday, April 24, 2015

A plan to approve the burning of public native forests for electricity generation is back on the federal agenda. It could be passed on May 12 when parliament resumes. Planned changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will include approval of forest furnace electricity to be defined as ‘renewable energy’.

When the ALP were in power, the environment movement managed to stop the previous plan. This time we know the Lib/Nats have pledged to vote for it, and Labor will likely vote against it. It comes down to the independent cross benchers in the Senate. The logging industry has been lobbying the eight cross benchers, so we have to counter the false claims and misinformation that has been circulated.

Abbott's slush fund for polluters

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tony Abbott’s plan to deal with climate change is very worrying. It gives incentives to burn native forests and will term this as ‘renewable energy’! Abbott is handing a slush fund to industry dressed up as climate action.

To date no one has wanted to build a forest furnace to generate electricity because they are not economically viable. Currently they are not allowed Renewable Energy Certificates nor can they earn carbon credits under the Carbon Farming Initiative Act which states they aren’t allowed to destroy forests to burn.

‘Renewable energy’ – the new woodchip industry?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

EEG recently made a submission to the federal review of the Renewable Energy Targets (RET) focusing on the plan to allow the burning of native forest trees as ‘renewable’ energy.

In the government’s review it states under 6.3:

"The Government is committed to the reintroduction of wood waste derived from native forest as an eligible renewable energy source under the LRET."