RETs and Gippsland forests
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.
“A clear definition is needed in any RET legislation to ensure no native forest material will be used to generate electricity. It would definitely not be waste material as claimed by the industry. Who’s ever seen a truck carrying tree heads?”
“We have seen the last 40 years of forest destruction driven by the demand for so called ‘waste’ to feed the woodchip industry. A demand for logs to fuel the furnaces would be less fussy and so would operate like a woodchip industry in overdrive.”
“The Renewable Energy Target should help reduce emissions, and yet burning wood is 1.6 to 6 times more polluting than burning coal. It would create greenhouse gasses, not reduce them”
“This ludicrous idea would also strip financial incentives away from genuine renewable energy projects, as the logging industry would claim a proportion of the limited renewable energy credits that should go to solar initiatives for instance.”
“This plan has nothing to do with a transition to clean energy, but it would prop up a native forest logging industry that is set to lose its best customer – the Nippon woodchip mill at Eden”, said Jill Redwood.