Europe Finds Clean Energy in Trash, but U.S. Lags  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The NYT has an article on generating power by incinerating waste - Europe Finds Clean Energy in Trash, but U.S. Lags.

The lawyers and engineers who dwell in an elegant enclave here are at peace with the hulking neighbor just over the back fence: a vast energy plant that burns thousands of tons of household garbage and industrial waste, round the clock.

Far cleaner than conventional incinerators, this new type of plant converts local trash into heat and electricity. Dozens of filters catch pollutants, from mercury to dioxin, that would have emerged from its smokestack only a decade ago.

In that time, such plants have become both the mainstay of garbage disposal and a crucial fuel source across Denmark, from wealthy exurbs like Horsholm to Copenhagen’s downtown area. Their use has not only reduced the country’s energy costs and reliance on oil and gas, but also benefited the environment, diminishing the use of landfills and cutting carbon dioxide emissions. The plants run so cleanly that many times more dioxin is now released from home fireplaces and backyard barbecues than from incineration.

With all these innovations, Denmark now regards garbage as a clean alternative fuel rather than a smelly, unsightly problem. And the incinerators, known as waste-to-energy plants, have acquired considerable cachet as communities like Horsholm vie to have them built.

Denmark now has 29 such plants, serving 98 municipalities in a country of 5.5 million people, and 10 more are planned or under construction. Across Europe, there are about 400 plants, with Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands leading the pack in expanding them and building new ones.

By contrast, no new waste-to-energy plants are being planned or built in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency says — even though the federal government and 24 states now classify waste that is burned this way for energy as a renewable fuel, in many cases eligible for subsidies. There are only 87 trash-burning power plants in the United States, a country of more than 300 million people, and almost all were built at least 15 years ago. ...

Yet powerful environmental groups have fought the concept passionately. “Incinerators are really the devil,” said Laura Haight, a senior environmental associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Investing in garbage as a green resource is simply perverse when governments should be mandating recycling, she said. “Once you build a waste-to-energy plant, you then have to feed it. Our priority is pushing for zero waste.”

1 comments

All of us can create a more sustainable, cleaner and safer world by making wiser energy choices. Energy conservation is the foundation of energy (and economic) independence. America has the technology and resources to meet all its energy needs while safeguarding the earth's climate. The urgent question now is, 'Do we have the will?

Read More http://greenorbz.com/

Post a Comment

Ads

Ads

Statistics

Locations of visitors to this page

blogspot visitor
Stat Counter

Total Pageviews

Ads

Books

Followers

News

Loading...

Blog Archive

Labels

australia (570) global warming (358) solar power (325) peak oil (314) electric vehicles (188) wind power (169) renewable energy (159) ocean energy (152) csp (143) geothermal energy (142) smart grids (139) solar thermal power (133) tidal power (130) coal seam gas (125) nuclear power (121) oil (113) geothermal power (110) iraq (108) lng (107) green buildings (104) china (103) energy storage (101) solar pv (101) natural gas (97) agriculture (84) biofuel (75) oil price (75) smart meters (72) wave power (67) uk (63) energy efficiency (62) electricity grid (60) google (54) coal (52) internet (51) food prices (48) surveillance (48) bicycle (47) big brother (47) shale gas (46) thin film solar (41) biomimicry (38) canada (38) ocean power (37) scotland (36) new zealand (35) air transport (34) algae (34) water (34) credit crunch (31) politics (31) queensland (31) bioplastic (30) concentrating solar power (30) california (29) geoengineering (28) offshore wind power (28) population (28) cogeneration (27) saudi arabia (27) shale oil (27) resource wars (26) arctic ice (25) batteries (25) censorship (25) cleantech (25) woodside (25) bruce sterling (24) drought (24) ctl (23) economics (22) tesla (21) coal to liquids (20) distributed manufacturing (20) indonesia (20) iraq oil law (20) brightsource (19) carbon tax (19) limits to growth (19) origin energy (19) ultracapacitor (19) rail transport (18) santos (18) ausra (17) buckminster fuller (17) exxon (17) lithium (17) cellulosic ethanol (16) collapse (16) electric bikes (16) mapping (16) michael klare (16) ucg (16) geodynamics (15) iceland (15) psychology (15) atlantis (14) bees (14) concentrating solar thermal power (14) fertiliser (14) biodiesel (13) brazil (13) carbon emissions (13) ethanol (13) investment (13) kenya (13) al gore (12) ambient energy (12) biochar (12) cities (12) matthew simmons (12) public transport (12) texas (12) victoria (12) bucky fuller (11) cradle to cradle (11) desertec (11) energy policy (11) otec (11) terra preta (11) chile (10) fabber (10) goldman sachs (10) gtl (10) hybrid car (10) internet of things (10) lithium ion batteries (10) severn estuary (10) tinfoil (10) toyota (10) volt (10) alaska (9) amory lovins (9) biomass (9) carbon trading (9) esolar (9) fuel cells (9) gazprom (9) jeremy leggett (9) pge (9) sweden (9) afghanistan (8) arrow energy (8) big oil (8) distributed generation (8) eroei (8) floating offshore wind power (8) four day week (8) guerilla gardening (8) linc energy (8) methane hydrates (8) nanosolar (8) natural gas pipelines (8) pentland firth (8) relocalisation (8) us elections (8) western australia (8) antarctica (7) bloom energy (7) boeing (7) chp (7) climategate (7) copenhagen (7) fish (7) methane (7) stirling engine (7) vinod khosla (7) airborne wind turbines (6) apocaphilia (6) bolivia (6) ceramic fuel cells (6) cigs (6) futurism (6) jatropha (6) local currencies (6) nigeria (6) saul griffith (6) somalia (6) t boone pickens (6) ocean acidification (5) scenario planning (5) space based solar power (5) varanus island (5) garbage (4) kevin kelly (4) low temperature geothermal power (4) oled (4) tim flannery (4) v2g (4) club of rome (3) global energy grid (2) norman borlaug (2) peak oil portfolio (1)