The dirtiest, dearest and deadliest way ever devised to produce large scale electric power is now officially “renewable” in NSW. Native forests are more valuable as homes for wildlife, carbon stores and protectors of soil and water. Burning them to generate electricity is not renewable energy and not economic without big taxpayer subsidies into the future.
Former rules only allowed sawdust, sawmill waste and plantation wood to be used as fuel, not whole trees. Native forests are more valuable kept standing.
Changing the rules to allow trucking of native forest wood to be burnt in power stations and marketed as green will discredit the genuine renewable energy industry. It will also damage the ability of forests to provide all the other goods they give us like: water reservoir services, flood mitigation and erosion prevention, home to our State's unique plants and animals, long-term carbon storage, sheltering of rainforests and their important role in driving weather systems and bringing rain.
Allowing electricity generators to burn native forest wood will become a driver of forest destruction just as wood chipping of so-called "waste wood" has driven native forest logging in the South East for more than 40 years.
Energy from burning native forest biomass won't displace fossil fuel based electricity but will compete with genuine renewables such as solar and wind.
If a forest and its wildlife are to have any chance of recovering after logging, the debris must be allowed to remain in the forest as a source of future nutrients and shelter.
Protecting native forests is the quickest, safest and cheapest way to help stop climate change.