Renewable Energy Trading – The Road to Hell?

The unmistakable trend in Europe today is a “greener” society. But this is sometimes done with fanatical zeal, and the results are highly counterproductive.

Strom v řepce

It all started, as it sometimes does, with a good idea based on the dire state of the environment. If we look directly at our country, especially the border areas with Germany and Poland, we can recall the devastating and unfortunately still ongoing acid rain that destroyed vast areas of coniferous forests. Not surprisingly, then, efforts to gradually reduce the mining and burning of lignite and hard coal in power plants have come to the fore. [And then came biofuels.

Produced by processing biomass (corn, rapeseed, sugarcane, etc.), biofuels, like solar power plants, have become a magic spell combining two basic attributes of the new and old age: money and ecology. The original intention of using plant and animal residues for biofuel production proved to be largely unprofitable. Therefore, in the name of ecology and profit, cultivation was adopted for purely ecological money plants, not for consumption or further industrial processing. Individual farmers as well as large farmers took advantage of this trend, as traditional crop cultivation was not profitable. In our environment, uniform fields of oilseed rape and corn are visibly changing the landscape. While oilseed rape (apart from its negative impact on biodiversity) at least relatively strengthens the soil and retains water through its root system, fields planted with maize, especially on gentle slopes, often turn into mud baths after heavy rains, and what is more, all water in such devastated areas drains away.
Kukuřičné pole

The true consequences of this management, however, only become apparent when one moves from the Czech Republic to countries in South America and Africa. There, dominant forces, often backed by logging companies, have responded to the growing global demand for eco-fuels by engaging in extensive deforestation. Small and medium-sized farmers, often on the edge of subsistence, abandon traditional crops and, like the people here, convert fields and plantations into vast tracts of land to plant plants that can supply the global bio-market. The consequences of such decisions are even more pronounced here, given that the area affected is many times larger, and the degradation of the land and its gradual transformation into a lunar LSD landscape has reached enormous proportions.

Fortunately, in recent years, thanks to the work of many research and environmental groups (what a wonder), we are slowly waking up, but it will be difficult to stop the whole process in motion.