Re: The *** of genius, sorry I cant remember its title
I thought it was a pretty good documentary for about the first 45 minutes. The programme looked as though it was aimed mainly at children (with a presentation style similar to 'Blue Peter' and the Royal Institution's Christmas Lectures), so I'm not sure why it is was being broadcast after 9pm.
In the last 15 minutes or so the Green agenda got 'crowbarred' into the programme, and it turned into something like a Government propaganda piece attempting to promote the idea of partly converting the Drax coal-fired power station into burning biomass.
The idea of the biomass version of renewable energy tends to get a fairly easy ride from the UK renewables-sceptic blogosphere and news media, probably because it is not seen as being quite as mad as wind power. However foreign observers are less charitable, and an Australian group called the Carbon Sense Coalition awarded their first ever "Gorebalism Award for Goofy Green Policies that have Inconvenient Outcomes” at the end of 2012 to the UK government for the biomass conversion of Drax:
"The winner of the Inaugural Gorebalism Award is the UK government whose green policies aim to make it uneconomic to burn coal. So the tax-payer funded Green Investment Bank has loaned £100 million to help convert the huge Drax coal-burning power station in Yorkshire to burning “sustainable biomass”. This is part of a huge finance package of one billion pounds to get the biomass green tick, earn renewable energy subsidies, and avoid the need to buy carbon credits.
Where do they plan to get the “sustainable biomass”? Each year 7.5 million tonnes of wood chips will be imported from North American forests to replace 4.5 Mt of coal.
The land required to produce wood at this rate is immense – about three million acres of forest per year.
Also, wood is less dense than coal with less energy per tonne and a greater volume per tonne. Thus a greater tonnage and a far greater volume of wood have to be handled to get the same energy. This huge volume of wood has to be harvested, hauled, chipped, dried, trucked, shipped and stored using more carbon fuels – all to produce more expensive electricity.
There is one real benefit from the scheme. When the whole process is considered, using wood will put more carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere than using coal. This will make the forests grow faster."