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Huhne and biomass

On Huhne's involvement with the biomass form of renewable energy (which largely amounts in practice to burning wood), I think he effectively started that part of the renewable energy business up in the UK when he was put in charge of DECC. Subsequently after his fall from grace which included serving a brief prison term, he was appointed in 2013 as Europe manager of a firm called "Zilkha Biomass Energy", which makes wood pellets in the USA for export. The EU is the world's biggest customer for wood pellets. So Huhne is possibly making considerable amounts of money out a business he could be regarded as having largely created in the first place.

It is possible that the idea of expanding the biomass industry by Huhne was related to David MacKay's advice that renewable energy should ideally work in the winter months. Burning wood can certainly be carried out on demand all year round. But it is only classified as a form of low carbon renewable energy as a sort of technicality - if it was ever adopted on a very large scale the world would rapidly run out of trees.

As a sceptic of renewable energy, I've been intrigued by the tendency of the UK mainstream news media not to mention the rapid expansion of the biomass industry in the past few years, and the lack of awareness by many people of the significant presence of biomass in the UK energy mix. To give an example, in the recent Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for 2016, a statistic for the percentage of electricity in the UK generated by renewable energy of 25% was quoted. But as Paul Homewood pointed out, a sizeable chunk of this figure is actually coming from burning wood:


The idea of burning wood as a form of renewable energy is actually controversial within the Green blob. The Green NGOs haven't really liked the idea for a few years, but the Green business/financial community sees no problem with it at all. There are also divisions in the Green-leaning academic community over the issue. The controversy amongst academics was reported in this recent BBC news article: