All posts filed under: Allgemein

Unipers wood burning in Provence power station destroys forests!

Press release from Denkhaus Bremen, SOS Foret du Sud, Rettet den Regenwald and the Association of Critical Shareholders: Unipers wood burning in Provence power station destroys forests! (Essen, 8 June 2017) French and German environmentalists criticize the Group’s biomass strategy at the first Shareholders’ Meeting of the E.ON spin-off Uniper, which takes place on Thursday (8 June 17) in Essen. Uniper is currently equipping block 4 of the Provence coal-fired power station in Gardanne, southern France, on wood burning and is now in the trial phase. From the point of view of environmental organizations, forests in France and overseas are at risk. “Combustion of wood for electricity production on an industrial scale puts a considerable strain on the atmosphere by emissions of CO2 and increases the pressure on forests. The most stupid solution to our energy problems is the conversion of ancient coal-fired power plants to wood firing, “says Peter Gerhardt of Denkhaus Bremen. Uniper plans to burn over 800,000 tonnes of wood annually in Gardanne. “The energy giant must immediately stop this madness!” Nicholas …

Are Innogy´s marketing claims just greenwashing?

Environmental campaigners criticize biomass investments by RWE spinoff Innogy during company’s AGM: Are Innogy´s marketing claims just greenwashing? Joint Press Release by Denkhaus Bremen, Dogwood Alliance and Biofuelwatch – for immediate release – 24rd April 2017 – “Instead of flooding Germany with a million-dollar greenwashing campaign, Innogy should immediately quit its environmentally damaging biomass activities in the US,” says Peter Gerhardt, forest expert of the German organization Denkhaus Bremen [1]. The RWE spinoff’s first AGM takes place in Essen, Germany, today [2]. The question, according to Peter Gerhardt, is: “Are Innogy´s marketing claims just greenwashing?” Innogy owns a US company, Georgia Biomass [3], which according to its website, is the largest wood pellet plant in the world. It has an annual production capacity of 750,000 tonnes and produces pellets mainly for European power stations. The US environmental organization Dogwood Alliance [4] criticizes Innogy’s biomass operations: “Innogy is directly responsible for forest destruction here in the US. Big biomass facilities in the US South like Georgia Biomass are increasing forest destruction at a time when, more …

NGO letter on FAO: Forests are not fuel.

Open NGO letter on FAO’s International Day of Forests 2017 The FAO and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests have chosen to use the International Day of Forests 2017 to promote the use of wood for energy, calling forests “nature’s power house”. As the key messages of the day point out, forests are a traditional source of energy but are also considered to be the world’s biggest source of renewable energy. Unfortunately, this message ignores the serious negative impacts of growing bioenergy use on the environment, local communities, people’s health, the climate and, of course, our forests. The ongoing political push to significantly increase the use of forests as fuel for energy production – as an attempt to mitigate climate change – is based on flawed science and can create more problems than solutions. Learn more…

Clearcutting for power companies

By Peter Gerhardt and Michael Gerhardt Wood has been an important source of energy for humans since time immemorial. On a small scale and at a local level, this can be a meaningful lifestyle of giving to and taking from na-ture. Now corporations like E.ON and RWE have discovered the forest as a source of energy and unpack the chainsaw. As a result, species-rich forest ecosystems are degraded to indus-trial tree monocultures or whole forest areas are cut down. The energy giants are even subsi-dized for this exploitation of nature by public funds because the EU has set up wrong climate protection rules. The corporations’ hunger for wood shows how our growth-oriented economy exhausts the global ecosystems in the long term. The pressure on the forests is increasing – forest areas worldwide are being destroyed for agri-culture, firewood, mining and dams. A look at the expansion plans of the paper industry also shows that this industry will continue to destroy large forest areas. However, now the global battle for a share of wood reaches a …

Biomass: EU asks – denkhausbremen replies

Statement on survey by the European Commission for European biomass policy from 2020 This statement is also available in German. The current European biomass policy has serious consequences for the environment. The European energy companies are on a global shopping spree for timber. The electricity suppliers are burning this wood in their power plants and receiving public money according to EU rules. This leads to forest destruction and is harmful for the global climate. denkhausbremen did research on the impact of the EU biomass policy in 2015 in the southern United States and France and is currently working with its partners against the clearcut policy of those power companies (www.denkhausbremen.de/clearcutting-of-forests-for-e-on-and-rwe). Now the EU is revising its biomass strategy after 2020 and has implemented a stakeholder consultation which ends on the 10th of May. This is the statement of denkhausbremen: The current EU Biomass policy is causing the destruction of biodiverse wetland forests in the southern US-states. Research has already documented the chain of custody from clearcuts in the southern US states such as North Carolina …

Clearcutting of forests for E.ON and RWE

E.ON and RWE are on a global shopping spree for timber. The energy giants are planning to extend the life of their coal-fired power stations by feeding them with wood biomass. This means clearcutting forests in Northern America; it is also threatening valuable eco systems in Southern France. In July/August 2015 denkhausbremen conducted some research on this topic in the southern states of the U.S.A. as well as in France. Together with the environmental organisations Dogwood Alliance and Biofuelwatch, denkhausbremen opposes the German power companies’ clearcutting politics. “Along with others, E.ON and RWE are directly responsible for the destruction of forests here in the southern states of the U.S.A.,” explained Adam Macon from Dogwood Alliance in a conversation with denkhausbremen held in Asheville, North Carolina. “The power companies’ appetite for wood is destroying our forests. In the long term, the local population will be robbed of an important basis of their lifestyle and economic activities.” The industrial loggers haven’t even shied away from unique moist forest areas. They have converted ecologically significant indigenous forests into …

Barking up the wrong tree: Energy giants are on a worldwide shopping tour for wood in order to produce ”green” electricity

Humanity has got an energy problem. Fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal are finite and burn-ing them causes climate change. Nuclear energy is dangerous and produces radioactive waste. Renewable energies such as sun, wind or biomass are thus to provide us with green energy in the future. That’s old news. Political efforts are made to induce the necessary energy transformation with quotas and sub-sidies. The EU wants biomass to play a major role in the renewable energies for the future. Renewables are expected to account for 20% of energy consumption by 2020, goals for 2030 are negotiated right now. As for the EU, biomass would primarily mean wood. The European hunger for wood has fatal consequences: forests are clear-cut and fertile farmland and precious ecosystems are de-stroyed for industrial wood plantations. And it’s not a no solution for climate change. Even the US government noted in June this year that energy from wood is by no means climate-neutral. Facing climate change and a new situation for energy policy, the energy giants’ coal-fired power …