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Direttiva sulle energie rinnovabili — orientamenti sui criteri di sostenibilità per la biomassa forestale utilizzata nella produzione di energia

Alcuni studenti della redazione di sono anche membri della redazione del portale dell’Osservatorio Interdisciplinare sulla Bioeconomia. is a think tank and research institution registered in the EU Transparency Register with Identification number 185226239147-02.

We think that the use of energy from renewable sources, in particolar forest biomass used for the production of energy, should be accounted within the European CO2 emissions reductions targets of a reduction of 55% in 2030 and the zero carbon target for 2050.

Circular economy and the waste hierarchy established in Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council should not include primary woody biomass, neither in large-scale installations rated lower than 20 MW, nor in installations rated  with thermal input lower than 2 MW.

Circular economy means to reuse the waste, and not the harvest of forests.

Sustainable forest management does not produce waste, that serves for the micotic natural decomposition of the wood, and harvesting old or younger forest trees for energy production can’t be sustainable in belong to climate emergency in terms of reducing CO2 emission target.

In Italy there are many farmers, owner of forests or accomandatory of forests, that take advantage of italian laws that finance the harvesting of forests to burn the chips for Energy production or use forestal biomass for anaerobic composting to produce biomethane, CH4, that burned, produces the same CO2 emissions as natural fossil methane, and we are in climate emergency stated by the European Commission and IPCC for CO2 emissions and, worse, for methane leaking and ventine. Methane or biomethane, directly emitted in atmosphere, is a powerful green house gas, that increase that worsen global overheating.

Forest biomass is a squander of natural resources, that could be left in the forests for micotic and microorganism decomposition, or used for aerobic digestion to produce, together with organic waste, organic compost fertilizers to reduce, e.g., the desertification of our territories (that suffers of lack of organic substances) and the conservation of biodiversity, not only in the forests, but also in all the surround territories.

In the National Park of Pollino, in Italy, there is a project for an installation of plant that will produce energy from the biomass of the park forest, because it is lower than 20 MW of power, but it is within the park.

And, worse, in South East Apulia, in Italy, with the excuse of the pandemic Xylella infection of the olive trees, hundred of thousands of secular and monumental olive trees are broken down to be treated as biomass for Energy production: the olive forests are the only natural forests in Salento.

A ship with 5500 tons of infected olive wood chips started from the port of Brindisi in March 2021, destination the Gespi waste plant in Augusta, Sicily, to produce Energy from the chips[1][2]. And the wood was put together from hundreds of olive farmers, so they where singularly under the rate of individual 2 MW, but in this way they are destroying the historical apulian olive forest, with consequences for land use, land use change and forestry criteria (LULUCF), with no relevant consideration for the Italian National Determined Contribution (NDC), in the context of the Paris Agreement, covering emissions and removals from land use, agriculture and forestry, which ensures that changes in carbon stock associated with biomass harvest, accounted towards the country’s commitment to reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions, as specified in the NDC.

Normally, the Energy power plants that burns forestry biomass or that produce biomethane from aerobic wood composting are industries that uses smaller scale plants (less than 20 MW), to profit from the incentives for “renewable energy production”, financing these smaller plants, but collecting the produced energy.

“Made the law, found the trick” we say in Italy: permitting forest harvesting, also below the rate of 2 MW of energy production, will encourage large industries to collect hundreds of smaller foresters and farmers to exceed UE limits. Destroying landscapes and producing CO2 and nanoparticel powder, that pollute also our cities, because these biomass power plants are always located near to cities or ports.

The European Commission cannot permit this environmental disaster destroying forests in the name of the circular economy or the “sustainable forest management” in the interest of the usual big gas and energy companies for their only profit, and at least, the last come samll energy company that wants to profit for the “renewable Energy production” with forest biomass.