Paris - Paris plans to import thousands of tons of wood per year from the United States as part of its push to use more renewable energy in its urban heating systems, city authorities said on Thursday.
Paris urban heating company CPCU - which provides heat and hot water for more than a quarter of Parisians - plans to burn 140 000 tons of wood pellets per year in a new 75-million-euro ($84 million) plant in Saint-Ouen, north of Paris, that will start operating in a few weeks.
Environmentalists have questioned to what extent wood-fired power plants can reduce carbon emissions, especially if the wood has to be imported. But CPCU said the use of wood - as well as a switch from fuel oil to gas - will avoid 300 000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
“This is a good example of how the energy transition is put in place following the United Nations climate conference,” said Celia Blauel, Paris deputy mayor for the environment.