Is bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (Beccs) just ‘a castle built on sand’?

“The Government’s plan to reach net zero relies on burning the equivalent of the New Forest every five months.”

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Will a techno-fix get us out of our current and future predicament?

Climate change: technical solutions? – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Climate change: and the ‘magical thinking’ of carbon capture – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Will growing and burning carbon do the trick?

Biomass is not ‘carbon neutral’ – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Climate change: and carbon capture – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Rob Bellamy on Twitter: “Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a key mitigation technology in most 1.5–2.0°C compatible climate change mitigation scenarios (that’s right, we said mitigation – contro!) 2/9 https://t.co/is9lsg6TQ9” / Twitter

Today’s Mail headlines the absurdities of going for ‘net zero’:

Government’s plan to reach ‘net zero’ by 2050 by removing carbon from the atmosphere relies on BURNING the equivalent of 120 million trees a year just to ‘balance the books’, report claims

The UK government‘s plan to reach ‘net zero’ by 2050 by removing carbon from the atmosphere relies on burning the equivalent of almost 120 million trees a year, a new report claims. The government’s Net Zero Strategy, released in October 2021, aims to capture up to 58 million tonnes of CO2 from the burning of biomass and piping it under the North Sea. This process is considered to be carbon neutral because the trees that are burnt are then replanted, so any emissions that are captured and stored are counted as negative.

UK ‘net zero’ plan to remove CO2 from atmosphere relies on burning 120 million trees, report claims | Daily Mail Online

This is from the original Telegraph piece from the day before:

Exclusive: Dirty cost of keeping the Government’s net zero strategy alive revealed

Plan to hit green targets relies on burning the equivalent of the New Forest every five months, Telegraph analysis shows

The Government’s plan to reach net zero relies on burning the equivalent of the New Forest every five months, The Telegraph can reveal. Ministers plan to use technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere in order to compensate for sectors such as aviation, agriculture and heavy industry, and meet their 2050 climate targets.

The proposals rely largely on capturing the smoke from power plants, which burn wood to create electricity, and piping it under the North Sea using a system known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (Beccs). Because these biomass plants are considered to be carbon neutral, largely because the trees they burn will be replanted, any of the emissions that are captured and stored are counted as negative. To create enough emissions so that the removal can balance the books and reach net zero, the power plants will need to burn the equivalent of 120 million trees a year, an analysis of government modelling by The Telegraph has found.

It came just days after the food strategy promised to use huge swathes of the countryside to grow crops, with scientists warning that there is not enough land to deliver on all the competing pledges.

‘A castle built on sand’

Concerns were raised over how the technology will work at scale and whether burning wood for electricity is a genuine renewable energy source.

The European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (Easac), the association of national academies across Europe including the Royal Society, has called on policymakers to “suspend expectations” that they can use Beccs to reach net zero. Its analysis found “that there are substantial risks of it failing to achieve net removals at all” or that the removals will not happen quickly enough to meet climate targets.

Dr Michael Norton, the environment programme director at Easac, told The Telegraph that belief in Beccs is based on “flawed assumptions”, adding: “Our conclusion is that it is a bit of a castle built on sand.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) said that the plans are not final, and it is looking at other waste products that can be used as biomass and other carbon capture technologies.

Exclusive: Dirty cost of keeping the Government’s net zero strategy alive revealed

Australia has seen a change in government – but there will probably still be over-reliance on ‘carbon capture and storage‘:

Here’s an honest government ad from the Australien (sic) government:

Honest Government Ad | Carbon Capture & Storage – YouTube

We need to talk about Carbon Capture & Storage | with Richie Merzian – YouTube

   
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