Climate Change: Biomass challenge in European Court

Friends of the Irish Environment (FiE) and other groups from a range of countries from Estonia to the USA are lodging a case in the European General Court in Luxembourg against the burning of biomass along with peat for power generation;

Green News ie reports:

“A subsidy to encourage biomass burning alongside peat for electricity generation is allowing the “commercially unviable” industry to survive, environmentalists have warned.

Speaking today at the launch of a legal challenge against the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), Tony Lowes of Friends of the Irish Environment (FiE) said that biomass co-firing is a “false climate solution” as it only prolongs the burning of peat.

In 2016, peat generated nearly 8 per cent of Ireland’s electricity, but was responsible for around 20 per cent of the sector’s carbon emissions.

Yet, around €120 million in subsidies support the industry every year through the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy on electricity consumers.

The levy – which derives its legal basis from the RED – is charged to all electricity customers in order to subsidise the likes of peat generation and renewable energy sources such as wind.

Mr Lowes said that support for co-firing through the PSO levy is making matters worse by allowing the “commercially unviable” peat extraction business to continue. FiE asked the European Commission to investigate the State’s decision to subsidise biomass burning last year.”

Full report at this link:

https://greennews.ie/irish-group-takes-case-to-europe-over…/

Images:

1) Destroyed woodland used for biomass pellets which are imported to Ireland from the USA – Florida

2) Friends of the Irish Environment protest

3) ‘The bog train’ – Milled peat being taken for power station fuel. Bord na Móna has a network larger than Irelands National Train operator Iarnród Éireann and carries five million tonnes of peat annually

Bernard Moffatt

Celtic League

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