Case against Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage-13/10/21

Policy makers around the globe should not waste money on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and should look carefully before assuming it is a climate-friendly solution, so says Sami Yassa, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence council (NRDC), NY, USA in a report out in October 2021.

Yassa states “that the biomass industry claims that bioenergy on its own is carbon neutral and that BECCS is carbon negative. However the math associated with the leading approach to BECCS doesn’t add up. BECCS technology will not capture the emissions that result from cutting down trees, processing them into wood pellets and shipping the pellets across oceans to power stations before being burned. BECCS, coupled with the biomass supply chain that fuels power stations like Drax, isn’t even close to carbon neutral, let alone carbon negative”.

Sasha Stashwick, senior advocate at NRDC and campaigner with “Cut Carbon Not Forests”, added “Drax claiming that BECCS will make it a carbon negative power station is wildly exaggerated and wrong. Drax’s biomass supply chain is so highly emissive, that with or without CCS, it makes climate change worse. This report makes clear that any UK Government climate plan that relies on BECCS at Drax is extremely high-risk. When you are in a hole, you stop digging – and the Government must stop ploughing money into dirty biomass subsidies. Instead redirect these to wind and solar energy”. (Extract taken from Envirotech Magazine, November?December 2021).