Coal-to-biomass conversion – a pathway to a decarbonised future

by | Jun 15, 2020 | Biomass

Low-carbon electricity

An interesting whitepaper hit the web on May 6th, 2020 by FutureMetrics LLC. The publication goes over just how converting existing coal-fired power plants to be fueled with wood pellets offers an inexpensive, easy-to-deploy solution to produce low-carbon electricity.

Coal-to-biomass conversions

As noted by William Strauss, who is in charge of FutureMetrics and also the author of the paper, the global economic situation caused by COVID-19 spread is yet another reason to invest in coal-to-biomass conversions that are reasonably inexpensive and easy-to-deploy.

According to the publication, which analyses the conversion of the Drax and Lynemouth power stations in the U.K., the power which is produced from wood pellets is not intermittent like solar or wind power, therefore much more efficient.

Wood pellet

Within the paper, Strauss defies debates made by those who oppose making use of wood pellets for power generation and also unmasks their insurance claims. According to him, the use of materials from responsibly and sustainably managed forests does not increase the net addition of CO2 to the atmosphere. Strauss pointed out that many countries like the USA, for example, see the benefits of converting some existing coal-fueled power stations to use wood pellets.

Straus wrote “Wood pellets produced from sustainably managed forestry operations, when used to produce power, do not increase the net stock of CO2 in the atmosphere (…) The basic necessary condition for an area of managed forests is if forest growth rate equals or exceeds the harvest rate, then the net stock of carbon held in the forest is constant or growing. Thus, the CO2 released in combustion is contemporaneously absorbed by the new growth and no net new CO2 is added to the atmosphere.”

“(…)the strategy is complementary to a rational and pragmatic transition to a more decarbonised future by providing renewable, reliable baseload on-demand power,” Strauss said.

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