| March 2018 | woodworkingnetwork.com
Wood pellets more
harmful than coal,
could worsen climate
change says scientists
New research from MIT, Climate
Interactive, and UMass Lowell
has revealed that substituting coal
with wood as a means to generate
power could make climate change
worse for many decades.
In a joint study, researchers
found that wood pellets burned in
European and U.K. power plants,
such as a British Drax facility—
which has transitioned some of its
coal power generation capacity to
wood pellets with the support of
U.K. government subsidies—
actually emit more CO2 per kilowatt
hour than that generated by coal.
Researchers say this is because
wood is both less efficient at the
point of combustion and has
larger processing and supply
chain emissions than coal.
Thus, using wood instead of
coal in power generation increases
the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, worsening climate change
until—and only if—the harvested
U.S. forests are a main source
for EU wood pellet imports, which
have been rising with demand.