Skip to comments.Using Waste, Swedish City Cuts Its Fossil Fuel Use
Posted on 12/11/2010 10:56:02 AM PST by neverdem
KRISTIANSTAD, Sweden When this city vowed a decade ago to wean itself from fossil fuels, it was a lofty aspiration, like zero deaths from traffic accidents or the elimination of childhood obesity.
But Kristianstad has already crossed a crucial threshold: the city and surrounding county, with a population of 80,000, essentially use no oil, natural gas or coal to heat homes and businesses, even during the long frigid winters. It is a complete reversal from 20 years ago, when all of their heat came from fossil fuels.
But this area in southern Sweden, best known as the home of Absolut vodka, has not generally substituted solar panels or wind turbines for the traditional fuels it has forsaken. Instead, as befits a region that is an epicenter of farming and food processing, it generates energy from a motley assortment of ingredients like potato peels, manure, used cooking oil, stale cookies and pig intestines.
A hulking 10-year-old plant on the outskirts of Kristianstad uses a biological process to transform the detritus into biogas, a form of methane. That gas is...
Once the city fathers got into the habit of harnessing power locally, they saw fuel everywhere...
The start-up costs, covered by the city and through Swedish government grants, have been considerable: the centralized biomass heating system cost $144 million, including constructing a new incineration plant, laying networks of pipes, replacing furnaces and installing generators.
But officials say the payback has already been significant: Kristianstad now spends about $3.2 million each year to heat its municipal buildings rather than the $7 million it would spend if it still relied on oil and electricity. It fuels its municipal cars, buses and trucks with biogas fuel, avoiding the need to purchase nearly half a million gallons of diesel or gas each year...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
They should burn moose limbs as an alternative fuel.
Awesome, if we could put a speck of the money wasted of fake CIA/Crown controlled false flag terror we could help reduce our âfossilâ (not), but , then that brings us right round to the first point, doesn’t it?
I agree! A moose limb once kicked my sister.
I heard you can reduce use of precious water resources by drinking your own urine.
The term “Fossil Fuel” is a lie that is now built into the our language. Petroleum is produced naturally and abundantly by the Earth’s crust. It does not come from rotting dinosaurs or rotting vegetation. That assumption conveys the implication that it is a limited resource and therefore keeps the price high.
That burning “Fossil Fuel” is a bad thing is also a lie. Its complete combustion produces carbon dioxide (plant food) and water. We should burn as much “Fossil Fuel” as we can.
Incorrect “knowledge” leads to incorrect decisions and needless costs. The push for alternative fuels is astoundingly stupid.
BTW, I have a degree in Chemical Engineering. “Fossil Fuel” terminology was foisted on us, but I have learned the truth since my days in college.
If they were so green, then why do they have potato skins and stale cookies? Sounds like a lot of waste there, huh, Sweden. Why are they baking so many cookies that they go stale? Reduce the excess and save fuel costs for bakery ovens and trucking them to the store and back out to the disposal. With the reduction, put the few packages that are close to expiration dates on sale and the very little that is left over after that can be fed to pigs or goats.
As for the potato skins, most of the nutrients are in the skins. Restraurants make a fortune selling potato skins as appetizers. There should be some process that could be adapted in the potato industry to peel them adequately so as to preserve strips of peels for restraurants and home food sales. Again, feed livestock with any excess. I’ve been over there and you can hardly order a dinner without having fries as a side. So, make homefries with the skins on rather than wasting time and money on having an employee peel them. Come on, Sweden, don’t create waste just to make fuel.
That’s what everyone in Dune did but then everyone would have blue eyes. Diversity!
“It can pay for itself in about 37.9 years from savings in the cost of fuel,...”
Not even close if you account for time cost of money. The 144 million for the plant was paid in current dollars to generate a stream of benefits of 3.8 million a year. The present value of 3.8 million a year in 20 years ain’t much.
I know that’s where I actually got the idea from lol!
Yes, an excellent post. I surmised that you were an engineer after the first three paragraphs and before you stated it. There is so much BS out there in the general press that it makes me sick. I’m also an engineer (Electrical) and I read so much garbage in the MSM when it comes to energy that I want to scream. The average person out there without a scientific or technical background is susceptible to believing this nonsense.
I understand Russian scientists have pioneered and largely accepted abiogenic origins for petroleum for years...and have therefore had great success in their drilling.
Alexander von Humboldt and Thomas Gold are amidst some of its most famous (to the West) scientific proponents.
I can’t figure out why we don’t develop more hydroelectric. Seems like there are plenty of existing dams around that could be converted.
“it generates energy from a motley assortment of ingredients like potato peels, manure, used cooking oil, stale cookies and pig intestines. “
Hey leftist Swedes and NY Times, this energy is not “cruelty-free”, as pig guts are used. You are exploiting animals, you speciesists. Rather, why don’t these Swedes just stop using all forms of energy and go back to cave-dwelling. Or, move south.
(do I really need to use /S?)
I seem to recall Kristianstad was something of a hippie city. On FR a few years back, I think.
Soylent Green is people!
Our poor children have been force-fed a lie so long they can't process the truth, although I try to give them enough facts for cognitive dissonance.
Carbon sequestration technology already exists - in plants.
40 years to pay for itself? that doesn’t seem very impressive. Am I wrong?
I'm familiar with it. The first link says you can get hydrocarbons from calcium carbonate, water and iron. Theoretically, it sounds possible. I was a chemist. The second link is mine.
I have long thought this to be true but then somebody pointed out to me ‘then what about coal, with all those fossils in it?’
And not being a scientist I had no answer.
Did they switch from the silver krona to the Euro?
This probably will not work everywhere but it can work in some areas. And lowering our use of fossil fuel and reducing the amount of methane produced by the landfill is a good thing if it can be done without reducing the standard of living.
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
You probably mean Christiania, a borough of the Danish capitol Copenhagen. And it still is not was. (---> Wikipedia)
Wouldn't the same appy to the capital?
“Wouldn’t the same appy to the capital?”
Nope. The plant is paid for today. The present value of 144 million today is $144 million. The present value of $144 million spread out over 38 years is much less than $144 million. Why? Because if you put the $144 million in 30 year treasuries, it would be worth a lot more than $144 million in 30 years.
So the 38 year payoff is in pretend dollars. But the government is involved. Those are the kind of dollars they deal in.
“Did they switch from the silver krona to the Euro? “
I was in Sweden about a year ago. It was Kroner then.
I doubt the payback is 40 years. While the article is unclear, it notes that the city is pay 3.2M versus 7M, the difference of which appears to have been used to calculate the 37.9 year number in post 1.
That would be only the city's savings.
The article also notes that the city and surrounding county (population ~80k) are involved. That indicates other revenue sources are likely involved and that the cost effectiveness and payback period is not limited to the financial aspects the city has noted.
I'm not sure how this system works specifically, but it appears to be a district energy system. Such systems can be highly efficient. Generate high pressure / temperature steam, use some of it's energy to generate electricity and distribute the lower energy steam for district heating purposes. Chillers can use that steam during times when cooling is needed through steam driven chillers.
Actually, this kind of set up is not new and is used by multiple cities, frequently on large campuses, and in various industrial settings. Buzz words include cogeneration, etc.
Problem is - in the US - if you want to burn, use, incinerate, anything that might be considered trash you'll have massive regulatory requirements that will push that $144M much higher...
Food waste can be turned into a burnable gas and I would prefer to see it used that way rather then dumped. The food waste from a city can be used or it can become what any over saturation is, pollution.
Elisabeth must have been smoking something - or she never was in the area as there are lots of wind turbines in that part of Sweden. Huge wind farm in the strait between Denmark and Sweden just south of Krist.
I fought that concept in college and Dr Sternglass gave me an F.
Still POed after 40 years.
I must admit that I am not familiar with the financing structure for this project. However, I would think it unlikely that a city (and county) of ~80k people had $144M laying around and paid up front. More likely a significant portion of the project was financed (loans, bonds, etc.).
If I am wrong - please point me to info. Not saying it is impossible that they paid cash up front, just that in my experience it is unlikely for such a project.
The present value of 144 million today is $144 million. The present value of $144 million spread out over 38 years is much less than $144 million. Why? Because if you put the $144 million in 30 year treasuries, it would be worth a lot more than $144 million in 30 years.
Agreed - if the full $144M was paid today. If financed, as I think is likely, the time value of money (and associated interest) needs tobe included in the math.
So the 38 year payoff is in pretend dollars.
First, the 38 year payoff appears only to be based on the city's specific energy cost savings. Based on the article, it appears that there are other energy customers so I don't accept that the debt service or payback is limited to the city's fuel savings. Again - as noted - this appears to include more than just the city energy savings.
That would change the math noted in post 1 in a big way.
But the government is involved. Those are the kind of dollars they deal in.
I have no problem identifying and pointing out debacles that government entities are involved in. Find them - make them public and humiliate them. Fine by me.
What I haven't seen is anything that indicates such a debacle here.
Is it bad for an entity to use their own resources to serve their own energy needs? Seems lik that is what some of these opinions imply.
We could do the same here, we sit on vast reserves of coal, we can even turn that coal into liquid fuel. Sure we could melt/burn trash and be even less dependent on outside energy sources. But we don't. We don't for many reasons, and at the top of that list is that we in the US make using, making, converting, energy such a regulated activitiy that it is just cheaper to buy oil from the ME.
Whack away as much as you want at this for whatever reason. I could care less. Just remember, if the EPA wasn't in the way - we could doing the same - using our resources to make our own energy.
I am trying to be nice - but your math is simplistic, your outrage misplaced, and you are missing point.
Nothing to do with oil at all.
I frankly don't understand why cities like NY, Chicago, etc, don't do this. Gasification just makes sense. They have a large enough stream of garbage to make it practical. If they need more energy, do a combined garbage/coal system. It seems to me that the savings on waste disposal would pay for it....much less the energy generated.
A quick search finds that a 500MW coal gasification plant runs $700MM, and another finds that NYC paid $300MM in 2005 for waste disposal.
Thanks neverdem.Time to throw out 'myth' of recyclingThrow away the green and blue bags and forget those trips to return bottles -- recycling household waste is a load of, well, rubbish, say leading environmentalists and waste campaigners. In a reversal of decades-old wisdom, they argue that burning cardboard, plastics and food leftovers is better for the environment and the economy than recycling. They dismiss household trash separation -- a practice encouraged by the green lobby -- as a waste of time and money... The Swedes' views are shared by many British local authorities, who have drawn up plans to build up to 50 incinerators in an attempt to tackle a growing waste mountain and cut the amount of garbage going to landfills... The use of incineration to burn household waste -- including packaging and food -- "is best for the environment, the economy and the management of natural resources," they wrote in an article for the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. Technological improvements have made incineration cleaner, the article said, and the process could be used to generate electricity, cutting dependency on oil... Recycled bottles cost glass companies twice as much as the raw materials, and recycling plastics was uneconomical, they said. "Plastics are made from oil and can quite simply be incinerated."
by David Harrison
London Daily Telegraph
March 4, 2003
Thanks for the ping!