Heating your home – Firewood Facts

Firewood is a sustainable way to heat a home, so let’s lay the facts on the table!

FIREWOOD IS SOLAR ENERGY

Trees store solar energy. It may sound strange, but allow us to break it down for you. Trees capture the sun’s energy via a process called photosynthesis. This process enables the trees to grow and become stronger, therefore INCREASING their ability to capture more and more solar energy.

Throughout human history, we’ve used that stored solar energy utilising fire. We use it for heat, cooking, light, and power.

FIREWOOD IS GREEN ENERGY

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, that’s impossible! Firewood can’t possibly be green energy, can it?.” Green energy has a few definitions. Still, one that is commonly referred to is that green energy must be from a renewable source. Although one has to burn firewood to gain energy from it, it is renewable. Part of what companies like Sydney Firewood and associations like the FIREWOOD ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA do is ensure that only sustainable farming and logging practices are used to collect and distribute the firewood.

By definition, trees are a renewable resource—and as long as we take care, plan properly, and distribute only firewood that is ethically harvested—we’ll have beautiful, renewable firewood as an energy source until the end of time.

USING FIREWOOD FOR ENERGY HELPS FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE

Here are a few mind-blowing facts:

  1. Firewood releases less co2, methane, and carbon monoxide than all other sources of heat energy.
  2. As trees grow, they absorb the co2 that other trees have emitted while burning.
  3. Burning a tree to heat your home creates no more greenhouse gases than a tree left to rot and decompose in the forest.
  4. The only increase to the earth’s carbon dioxide brought about by the firewood life-cycle happens during transportation by vehicles that use fossil fuels.

SOLAR, WIND, AND OTHER ENERGY SOURCES AREN’T AS GREEN AS YOU MIGHT THINK

Once solar panels are installed on your home, they no longer emit any greenhouse gases, and they no longer contribute to deforestation and climate change. However, we need to look at the processes involved in the creation of so-called green energy systems.

Solar panels are created using rare earth minerals. These minerals, for the most part, must be pit-mined. These pit mines are dug where there is forest and other vegetation and animal life. The result of pit-mining is a complete and utter obliteration of the area’s natural ecosystem, which will likely never fully recover.

Batteries have the same issues. An electric vehicle uses a rechargeable battery to get your family from point A to point B. However, that battery has to be produced somehow—typically via unsustainable mining practices.

Wind farms are equally reliant on unsustainable practices. Massive amounts of fossil fuels are burned to build, ship, and install wind farms. When the electricity is finally collected, it is stored in batteries which, as we know—are relatively inefficient.

The other issue to consider is what happens to all the batteries, wind turbines and solar panels when they reach their use-by date? How much is recycled versus thrown into land fill?  Recycling options are currently limited.

Rare earth minerals are also finite – as most finite resources the price increases as demand increases and known supply reduces.

With an increased interest in EV’s there’s been concern that a long list of car companies may soon face an EV battery shortage. A lithium shortage is predicted post-2025, and global demand for the metal is expected to double to 117 kilotonnes by 2024, driven by demand from battery companies for electric cars.    

Sources:

https://www.carsguide.com.au/ev/advice/who-builds-batteries-for-electric-cars-ev-battery-manufacturers-explained-83190

https://sydneyfirewood.net.au/firewood-faqs-and-facts/

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Sofie Korac is an Authorised Representative (No. 400164) of Prudentia Financial Planning Pty Ltd, AFSL 544118 and a member of the Association of Financial Advisers.

Financial Advice Sydney and the North Shore Office based in Gordon NSW

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