Science or propaganda? New hype about Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage
A remarkable finding indeed, given that, as a recent scientific review discussed elsewhere on this blog shows, capturing one billion tonnes of carbon a year through BECCS would require up to 990 million of hectares being converted to plantations, threatening biodiversity, food production, freshwater reserves and soils. Yet this latest article, by researchers based at Chalmers University in Sweden, assumes that not just one but five billion tonnes of carbon would be sequestered through BECCS every year. Just how did they conclude that bioenergy production on such a massive scale would be possible, let alone ‘carbon negative’? As a closer read of the study itself shows, they simply assumed so, rather than concluded it from either their own research or any review of other studies:
+ They assumed that capturing 5 billion tonnes of carbon a year through BECCS would require 500 million hectares of land. The article does not discuss where that land would be found or how it is used at present. 500 million hectares is more than 1.5 times the size of India. Yet even such a vast land area is far less than the authors of the recent scientific review, discussed in our previous blog article, had calculated would be needed for a BECCS programme of such a scale. So how exactly did the Chalmers University researchers derive that figure? According to their article, it’s based on “a back-of-envelope estimate of global land requirements” – no further insights given.