Between 1990 and 2006 Sweden cut its carbon emissions by 9%, largely exceeding the target set by the Kyoto Protocol,while enjoying economic growth of 44% in fixed prices.
Sweden achieved this by instituting a lot of sensible ideas such as having district heating in every city (like we have in New York City) where hot water is piped to buildings within a neighborhood.
Previously, these had been coal-fired but now the water is heated using waste from forestry. Sweden switched to direct electric heating in the 80's and in recent years increasingly utilizes heat pumps which take two-thirds less electricity to heat.
But their most bizarre secret?
And confiscated liquor. Well, biogas.
Blood, innards and other unusable slaughterhouse waste, human sewage, animal waste, and even confiscated liquor goes into a tasty brew heated to 70 degrees celsius for anaerobic bacteria to feast on for a month. Although certifiably cradle to cradle sustainable and plain old waste-not-want-not frugal, this solution is revolting.
Amazingly though, the final product is squeaky clean. It is virtually odorless, creates a nutrient-rich residue that can be used as soil or construction materials, and slashes vehicle carbon emissions an astounding 95%.
SvenskBiogas produces, distributes and sells biogas for transportation in eastern Sweden. Each year the company takes 50,000 tons of this mess and turns it into virtually carbon neutral biogas. “Before, this just went to a landfill and would lay there and rot and create methane seepage,” says Svenk's marketing boss, Peter Undén.“So it’s a good thing to use this energy in a positive way.” In the fifth largest city Linköping, every bus and garbage truck, some of the taxis and the train pictured above all run on biogas. The city of Gotenborg has a network of pipelines pumping its purified biogas to specialized filling stations, where it is pressurized for delivery to vehicles.
We too could be generating huge amounts of fuel from sewage by producing biogas, and in California we have cows operating power stations on the side. It can be easily produced by fermenting any of these ingredients and we have them all. Any of the new vehicles being developed to run on natural gas, as for the T. boone Pickens plan, can run on biogas as well. And thats good news, because we will have peak natural gas some day, sorry T. Boone...
But peak poop, I don't think so.
From the UK Guardian
the International Herald Tribune
and meta efficient