When talking about renewable sources of energy, wood is generally left out of the conversation. This is due in part to the widespread belief that wood fuel is bad for the environment since it releases carbon dioxide and contributes to deforestation, and in part to the reality that it was never really supplanted by fossil fuels. In contrast, wood fuel is a carbon-neutral energy source that does not harm the environment by destroying wildlife habitat provided the right technology is employed and if it is derived from sustainably managed forests.
Firewood, kiln dried logs, pellets, chips, charcoal, and sawdust are all forms of wood fuel. Its primary use is to warm buildings and supply hot water. It’s unusual for power plants to use wood to fuel steam engines these days.
Wood fuel has many benefits
Firewood and other wood fuel wastes are readily available
Costing not a lot
When compared to fossil fuels, wood fuel has a low unit cost. It also does not necessitate a large initial investment like some other alternatives to fossil fuels.
Safe for the planet
As was previously said, if wood fuel is obtained from sustainably managed forests and the appropriate technology is utilised, such as efficient wood burning stoves, it does not negatively impact the environment. In reality, the same trees that are cut down for firewood also serve as a home for wildlife and help to combat climate change by soaking up carbon dioxide as they grow. Carbon dioxide is released when wood is burned, but since the tree took in the same amount of carbon throughout its growth, the net carbon emissions are zero.
Each tree that is felled may be replaced, making wood fuel a sustainable form of energy.
The Downsides of Burning Wood
Most wood stoves and furnaces need to be refilled every few hours, making wood fuel a less practical option for heating. There are other automated methods, but they come at a hefty price.
Concerns for the environment
Illegal logging and subsequent deforestation are major environmental problems. While illegal logging has decreased in recent years in rich nations, it persists at alarmingly high levels in poor countries. In addition to contributing to growing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, unsustainable wood harvesting poses a harm to local ecosystems and biodiversity.
Results in reducing carbon emissions are minimal
While growing, trees take in vast quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, but these are all released back into the atmosphere through wood stove emissions when the wood is burned.
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