Burning wood for power still produces more energy than wind or solar, according to an infographic published Wednesday by a global warming researcher.
Burning wood provides nine percent of the world’s energy, according to the United Nations’ Food And Agricultural Organization. Solar power provides less than one percent of the world’s energy while wind power provides less than 2.6 percent, according to the International Energy Agency.
Globally, wood still produces three times more electricity than solar panels and 11 times more than geothermal. More than two billion people depend on wood energy for cooking and heating especially in developing countries.
Renewable energy in America over the last two and a half centuries. pic.twitter.com/rbWAJCQjhP
— Robert Wilson (@CountCarbon) May 5, 2016
The infographic was compiled by Robert Wilson, an ecosystem and climate change researcher at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Wilson has a long research history studying the potential impacts of global warming.
Wood energy could soon experience a renaissance in America, as the Senate passed a massive 800-page bipartisan energy bill late last month, which defines wood harvested from forests as “renewable energy” and orders federal bureaucrats to promote it. U.S. foresters have been cutting down forests for years to supply fuel for Europe’s power plants, so using wood to generate electricity is nothing new.
“In 2014, almost three-quarters of all U.S. wood pellet exports were delivered to the United Kingdom (UK), mainly for the purpose of generating electricity,” according to an EIA report published last April. Europe considers chopping down forests to burn the wood to be“carbon-neutral,” and wood power has largely replaced coal power in Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands.
In America, biomass provided more than twice as much electricity as solar power in 2015, according to the EIA.
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