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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #290 - Energy Alternatives, Biomass and fight against climate change (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]
Fri, 1 Feb 2019 09:23:27 +0200
The question of the conversion of coal-fired power plants, the closure of which is planned
for 2022, poses many social and environmental questions that can only be solved
satisfactorily in the context of a convergence of social and ecological struggles. ----
Concretely biomass is to use logs to heat, put in the tank of his car a " biofuel ",
produce methane from agricultural residues or electricity in biomass thermal power
stations ... ---- However, if using agricultural residues or logging is a common sense,
cultivating plants or cutting trees specifically for energy use of biomass helps to
increase deforestation and divert agricultural land from food production. .
We will not dwell on the so-called biofuels that today combine the negative consequences.
The development of bio-methane production on farms seems much more promising. It allows
the recovery of waste to produce both a renewable energy and an organic fertilizer.
The use of forest waste to eventually produce electricity raises much more complex
questions and can not find a single answer. It is mainly this question that we are going
to deal with here, in particular by examining a conversion project for the Cordemais
coal-fired power plant near Nantes.
Power plants at Biomasse ?
Certainly the project presented is based on the recovery of residues from the size of
gardens, wood waste building or wood industry. But as the director of the Cordemais plant
notes, " it must be demonstrated that these wood resources can be found locally " .
Friends of the Earth believes that the reconversion project will require significant
logging. " Such a supply would lead to an increase in truck transport and a very strong
pressure on the resource on the entire Atlantic coast " .
Other considerations are raised. In particular, the combustion of wood waste polluted by
paints, varnishes, glues or others, can cause the emission of pollutants dangerous to
public health which could not be treated by the filters provided for the combustion of coal.
Finally, it is the size of the installation that poses a problem. Thermal power plants
convert about 33 % of the energy consumed into electricity. Cogeneration systems make it
possible to use the rest of the energy to inject it into local heating networks. But the
amount of heat produced in Cordemais makes such a system inapplicable. This is why the
Friends of the Earth advocate that " rather than finance a reconversion project whose
viability is uncertain, the government should make the choice to (...) boost new
industrial sectors in the territories, compatible with the ecological transition " .
While the need to converge social and ecological struggles is increasingly necessary in
our daily struggles, a fight for a dry closure of coal plants, without leading a real
fight for the construction of biomass plants to meet the needs ecological is harmful to
ecological combat. It is time for trade unionists and ecologists to talk to each other and
fight for joint reconversion projects that will prevent the workers of the power stations
from being the turkeys of the government's pseudo-ecology joke. So, does the Cordemais
reconversion project have to be - at least temporarily - implemented ?
Jacques Dubart (AL Nantes)
[ 1 ] Le Monde of July 9, 2018
[ 2 ] www.amisdelaterre.org
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