“Biomass is a carbon-neutral energy source” is what the U.K. Government claims; but it is actually a false assumption. The main confusion arises when counting of the emission rate takes place since the emission from the company producing the wood pellets and chips are taken into consideration and not when they are burned down to produce electricity.
For now, the companies are still using this source in order to reduce the carbon emission resulting from using coal. Therefore, many companies disapprove of the government policies. According to Associate Fellow Duncan Brack of energy, environment and resources Department at Chatham House, the real effects of the use of biomass on the climate is still not mentioned in the current policies. Hence, the use of public capital in the new technologies to reduce carbon emission must be given a genuine thought.
In the U.K., about 9% energy is generated using biomass. Due to the high emission rate of coal, it is considered to be one of the dirtiest sources of energy and therefore many companies are changing from coal to biomass which can prove to be a carbon-neutral energy source when used in a proper manner. As per the Kyoto protocol, the U.K. does not consider burning biomass pollution since it comes under land-use and not energy. The European Union has approved of the various companies transition to biomass units and import of the tons of wood chips from the U.S. and Canada.
Though the trees are a renewable source of energy, but the burning of biomass such as wood pellets or chips result in higher emission than coal and the use of the wood waste products leads to less energy production and manufacturing process is complicated.
Finally, Head of climate and energy, Gareth Redmond-King at the WWF-UK environmental group says, “The biomass is not a solution for the climate change and also the use of bioenergy from wastes and residues may seem fruitful, but not wood chips or pellets.”