Another (strong and unexpected to this size, at least for me) signal of the physical and biological limits to the unrestrained use of energy (even from RES) in this paper signed by a number of scientists in 2017 to highlight risks in the revision of the EU Directive on Renewables:
“The effect on the world’s forests, carbon and biodiversity is likely to be large because even though Europe is a large producer of wood, its harvest could only supply about 6% of its primary energy.
For more than a decade, the increased use of biomass has been supplying roughly half of Europe’s increase in renewable energy.
To supply even one third of the additional renewable energy likely required by 2030, Europe would need to burn an amount of wood greater than its total harvest today.
This would turn a likely 6% decrease in energy emissions by 2050 under the directive through solar and wind into at least a 6% increase.
"Europe’s own demand for wood would degrade forests around the world, but if other countries follow Europe’s example, the impacts would be even more dangerous. Instead of encouraging Indonesia and Brazil to preserve their tropical forests – Europe’s present position – the message of this directive is
“cut your forests so long as someone burns them for energy”.
Once countries are invested in such efforts, fixing the error may become impossible. To supply just an additional 3% of global energy with wood, the world needs to double its commercial wood harvests at great costs to carbon and wildlife."