20 May Wood: The fuel of the future?
Nuclear, solar and wind energy are all subject of heated debate, but what about bio-energy? In Europe, wood is the biggest source of renewable energy by far and in Finland it has surpassed oil as an energy source already. There isn’t much fuzz about it since the bulk part is derived from sawdust, bark, ‘black liquor’ and forest residues – forest industry waste. While the wood and paper industry is in serious, long-term difficulties, the need for locally produced energy will certainly rise.
Bioethanol and biodiesel plants are popping up like mushrooms and more and more forest will be cut at ever younger age, just to heat our homes and fuel our cars. Burning wood may be less controversial than burning food, but wood should be used before burning just as well. Biofuels aren’t simply green and clean – in fact it may turn into another environmental disaster.