Biomass has been promoted as a carbon-neutral energy source by industry, some countries and lawmakers on the basis that the emissions released by burning wood can be offset by the carbon dioxide taken up by trees grown to replace those burned. Yet there remain serious doubts among many scientists about its carbon-neutral credentials, especially when wood pellets are made by cutting down whole trees, rather than using waste wood products. It can take as much as a century for trees to grow enough to offset the carbon released. Burning wood for energy is also inefficient – biomass has been found to release more carbon dioxide per unit of energy than coal or gas, according to a 2018 study and an open letter to the EU signed by nearly 800 scientists.
Guardian 4th Oct 2021 read more »