Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The UK Government Renewable Heat Initiative - Socialism for the wealthy - diddly squat for the environment

If you have £1,000 in a deposit account getting 1% return it will take roughly 70 years to double your money it's the "rule of 70",  divide 70 by the annual rate of return and you get the years to double your money.

Clear felling for firewood
But if you were a mega-rich UK landowner with  trees, and cash in the bank you could do much better out of the "Renewable Heat Initiative" (RHI). This will more than double your investment in 3.5 years, it has a rate of return of 20% and of course these people don't pay taxes, if they pay VAT they get it all back.Fantastic returns on boiler investment

This scheme is based on the Tory (Republicans too in the US) principle that wealth should always flow upwards to those who already have it. We the tax payers are once again subsidising the wealthy and helping the Government to achieve it's targets, there is nothing in it for us.

A woodlot or forest produces an annual increment of wood throughout it's life, the yield varies according to the species, the site and age of the trees. If you selectively remove this annual increment for firewood then that is sustainable and is making a contribution to carbon sequestration. This can be done by selectively felling smaller trees or "thinning" and thereby increasing the growth rate of those that remain by reducing competition when the last trees are felled they are replaced.

However, if you clear fell a wood for burning within say 12 months you will be releasing  50 - 60 years worth of stored carbon in one event.  You have  fuel miles and pellet processing energy to add to the total.

A least one owner of a wood fueled centrally heated castle is Scotland has discovered that he can earn more cash  by leaving his windows open and burning more wood. Of course we are also paying for his central heating. This is,"socialism for the wealthy" and diddly squat for the environment, what the post-Brexit hard right future will look like in spades. But at least the UK government meets it's targets for renewables so that's OK!

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