Should Wood Count as Renewable Energy?

Should Wood Count as Renewable Energy?

The EU could very well sabotage its own push for energy efficiency.

Back in 2009, the European Union passed the Renewable Energy Directive, which mandates that 20% of all energy needs are met with renewables by 2020. By 2030, that target jumps to 27%.

“The control of European energy consumption and the increased use of energy from renewable sources, together with energy savings and increased energy efficiency, constitute important parts of the package of measures needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and comply with the Kyoto Protocol,” claimed the Directive.

All noble goals, to be sure.

But in January of this year, the EU voted to allow wood burning to qualify as low-carbon renewable energy. This despite a written plea from nearly 800 scientists.

“We strongly urge members of Parliament to amend the present directive to avoid expansive harm to the world’s forests and the acceleration of climate change. The flaw in the directive lies in provisions that would let countries, power plants and factories claim credit toward renewable energy targets for deliberately cutting down trees to burn them for energy,” claimed the signatories.

While trees can be replanted, making wood “renewable,” burning it releases carbon into the atmosphere, which, according to the scientists, violates the spirit and intent of the Renewable Energy Directive.

Read more here: