It's the Environment, Stupid.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Kristianstad - a fossil fuel free municipality

Yesterday I attended a presentation about waste to energy - one of the presenters was Lennart Erfors of Kristianstad, Sweden.

Kristianstad, Sweden is a fossil fuel free municipality. With a fairly prominent agriculture sector and 75,000 inhabitants, biogas has worked out well for this community to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Sweden's waste management/environmental policy, adopted in the 1990's has been very successful in the country. Underlying part of the policy is the idea of reuse, recycle, recover - and what's left goes to landfill. Sweden also seems to have set the right incentives to have gotten a good percentage of their population to participate in these efforts.

What's great about biogas in Kristianstad is that it usus waste products to produce fuel/energy - organic wastes such as manure from the ag sector, and food wastes from the food industry and municipal households. Biogas is produced at three separate locations - at the landfill and waste water treatment facilities (methane capture to fuel) and at a biogas plant in a nearby municipality. Part of its use is to fuel all 22 city buses (and 3 school buses).

Afterwards I asked Erfors if this biogas thing was scalable or transferable to other (larger) areas. It seemed to be a perfect fit for his municipality being a mainly ag area with a small number of inhabitants, but I wondered if it could also be as effective in a larger city context. His answer was more than just a yes - he told me that just last week California had signed an agreement with Sweden to look into implementing biogas facilities in the state.

(This is cross-posted at Green Ground Zero.)

1 Comments:

  • That's amazing! What exactly do you do? What ideas or suggestions would you have for mainstream society to move toward more sustainability on a large-scale?

    By Blogger Lou, at 11:07  

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