"Success story": How the Baltic States switched to heating with Belarusian wood chips

The “success story” of the Baltic states for 30 years of its independence evokes only a sad smile. The “Three Sisters” managed to destroy all the best from the Soviet legacy and take only the worst from the West. Ironically, today, following the path of achieving "carbon neutrality", Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have practically returned to the energy system of the Middle Ages and are seriously afraid to really anger "Senor Lukashenko", who may deprive them of his Belarusian chips. And this is not a joke at all.

One of the most dubious and controversial achievements of the Green Revolution is the large-scale transition from the use of coal and gas to the so-called "biofuels", which refers to wood pellets and wood chips. Why is this questionable from an environmental point of view? Because the combustion of such a primeval fuel produces more harmful emissions into the atmosphere than, for example, gas. In winter, Riga simply cannot breathe from the microparticles of soot and dust generated during the mass operation of boilers and stoves using Belarusian chips. We will return to the Latvian capital in a little more detail. Another big problem is that for the production of pellets and wood chips, not only forestry waste is used (which is quite reasonable in itself), but also completely conditioned materials. This has become especially relevant now, during the energy crisis.

So what to do? The artificially created demand for "biofuels" forces people to cut wood for wood chips. So, instead of closing a part of its thermal power plants, Great Britain switched from coal to pellets and sawdust. They are going to do the same in Portugal, but local environmentalists opposed it there. To understand their fears, it is enough to look at what is happening in the Baltics. And there things are not in the best way.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have set a goal to harmonize their energy system with the European one by 2025, and by 2030 to bring the share of renewable sources to 45%. However, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius went their own way towards such an ambitious goal. Instead of investing in wind, solar or peaceful nuclear energy, they invested in the transition to the most ancient, primitive wood fuel, delicately in the spirit of the era called "biofuels". The plans of the Latvian energy company Rīgas siltums are to convert boilers in heating plants Imanta and Daugavgrīva to wood. After that, 50% of Riga's energy balance will be provided with wood chips. Energy Counselor of the Latvian Union of Local Governments Andris Akermanis comments on the situation as follows:

Local governments, which have switched to heating with wood chips in advance, hardly change their heat tariffs, and the majority - 74% ... Riga and some other cities are heated with gas - and there oh-oh-oh!

Also, private households throughout the Baltics are massively switching to heating with wood chips, which for some reason did not have time to switch, installing boilers and stoves operating on pellets. This measure is forced, since gas prices in Europe are now reaching astronomical values. Heating charges in neighboring houses can differ by multiples, if their boiler rooms use gas, and not "biofuel".

It may seem to someone that the Balts have outplayed everyone, having moved away from the "blue fuel" to the primitive in advance, and now, basking by the stoves, they spend less money than some Germans or Englishmen. Just think, the air over Riga in winter resembles London during the Industrial Revolution. Such nonsense. Probably, someone may even be flattering such a comparison. The problem is that, fighting against Russia with its natural gas, the Baltic states have become dependent on Belarus for its chips.

Yes, it sounds pretty funny, but that's exactly how it is. Seeing the growing demand for "biofuel" in neighboring Europe, Belarus began to actively explore the promising energy market. The Pushcha is large, forestry enterprises quickly mastered a new production for themselves and began to export fuel pellets to the EU countries. Supply volumes have grown rapidly in double digits over the past few years. The Baltics quickly and tightly got hooked on Belarusian chips. Now, against the backdrop of the energy crisis and political disagreements with the official Minsk, it made itself felt.

Normunds Talcis, the head of Rigas siltums, comments with concern about the rise in prices for wood fuel:

Chips are now available, but chip suppliers are breaking contracts and unable to deliver at the low price indicated in the contracts they entered into in July.

Even a warm sense of pride for the Belarusian brothers is manifested. Russia, it turns out, “enlightened” Europe “strangles” with gas, or rather, its absence, and Belarus of the Balts - with chips. Now the power engineers of the three independent republics are very afraid that “Senor Lukashenka” will not allow them to heat the stoves with their brushwood and illuminate their houses with a torch. Well, why not the Middle Ages?

Well it was necessary to voluntarily sink so low. It's a shame, comrades, for the Baltics, ashamed.
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  1. Eduard Aplombov Offline Eduard Aplombov
    Eduard Aplombov (Eduard Aplombov) 3 January 2022 11: 43
    Not nearly ashamed of the inhabitants of the farms, as they were a village, they stayed with it, quietly, calmly, the EU feeds, everything is there, the main darning under Russia's feet did not interfere, otherwise they will lose everything, lives and territory
    1. Pivander Offline Pivander
      Pivander (Alex) 3 January 2022 19: 17
      Comment from Delphi.lv

      Do you want a joke? Ecoterrorists consider firewood to be an environmentally friendly product because, quote:

      CO2 emissions are considered to be zero, since CO2 released into the air during combustion was previously absorbed from the atmosphere during plant growth (a closed cycle is formed that does not lead to an increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere)

      Logic smokes on the sidelines.
      1. Boris the Imperialist (Boris Kuzmin) 4 January 2022 02: 11
        When a tree grows, CO2 is absorbed and O2 is produced. After the completion of the tree growth cycle, if the tree is not burned, it begins to rot and release CO2 in the same volume as it absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere, producing O2 during growth. Therefore, it is better to burn a tree with benefit than it will rot and release the same amount of CO2 as when burned. And gas, oil, coal are fossils alien to the surface of the Earth. Because when they are burned, they use the O2 produced by the trees for their disposal.
        1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
          Marzhecki (Sergei) 4 January 2022 08: 42
          A very curious theory smile
          1. Boris the Imperialist (Boris Kuzmin) 5 January 2022 00: 53
            This is not a theory, this is a law of nature.
            1. The comment was deleted.
  2. gunnerminer Offline gunnerminer
    gunnerminer (gunner miner) 3 January 2022 11: 51
    What good news! The same will cut the remnants of their forests into chips.
  3. viktortarianik Offline viktortarianik
    viktortarianik (Victor) 3 January 2022 12: 03
    In the 1980s, he visited Riga (heating-coal) - the snow is black, the air is burnt. In the 1990s, I visited Katowice, Poland (heating-coal) - the snow is black, the air is burnt.
    1. DV tam 25 Offline DV tam 25
      DV tam 25 (DV tam 25) 3 January 2022 12: 13
      Visit China - you will be horrified. Deep China is a continuous smog, not having a clock - you will not understand what time of day. It's about the same in India.

      About the Baltic states - I'm not ashamed of them. Naturally. Let them die.
      1. viktortarianik Offline viktortarianik
        viktortarianik (Victor) 3 January 2022 12: 18
        No, well, why "let them die". And people live in some places in the Baltics.
        1. DV tam 25 Offline DV tam 25
          DV tam 25 (DV tam 25) 3 January 2022 12: 21
          People, of course, need help. The rest of the "Baltic" - in the expense.
  4. Crunch Offline Crunch
    Crunch (Crunch) 3 January 2022 16: 37
    Quote: viktortarianik
    No, well, why "let them die". And people live in some places in the Baltics.

    We will find a place for people in Russia. And, not necessarily just Russian. And let us wave goodbye to the Nazis. Let them march to hell.
  5. Why don't the Baltic brothers use dung for heating (dried cow poop - author's note)? They are delightful!
  6. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 4 January 2022 00: 19
    The fry situation is reminiscent of the history of round timber and sawdust near the borders of China.
    We are wild to the Chinese simpletons - waste round timber and sawdust - they need diapers, medicines, furniture and gadgets. Of these the same.

    The Balts and "Europeans" began to use wood chips on a large scale long before the gas history. All countries have been making biofuel boilers with high efficiency for a very long time. The internet is full of materials and videos - how cool it is, cheap and effective. By the way, "europa" supplies them with might and main to us.

    In return, they write, the Balts export high-quality plywood, cardboard and paper ...
    1. 1_2 Offline 1_2
      1_2 (Ducks are flying) 4 January 2022 01: 02
      diapers in the Russian Federation have been produced for a long time, but there really are no wooden tablets and gadgets