Alchemy of Incineration

The Alchemy of Incineration

From Waste to Resource

by Patricia Chase

For every three tons of garbage, the new super-efficient incinerator operated by SYSAV in Malmö, Sweden, extracts the equivalent energy of one ton of oil. Nine municipalities, with a total of 500,000 inhabitants, jointly own SYSAV, a regional waste service company serving southern Sweden. In addition to burning its own wastes, Sweden has become a waste importer. Revenue is generated in two ways: by selling waste incineration services, and by selling the energy and heat produced by incineration. This is the alchemy of waste incineration: Waste = Energy = Revenue.

Combined Heat and Power Plants

Green power plants harness the power of wasted energy

Combined Heat and Power Plants

By Jayson Antonoff

In a traditional thermal power plant 40 percent to 60 percent of the energy contained in the fuel is dispersed into the atmosphere or cooling water as "waste" heat; in CHP plants this waste heat is captured and used for heating, industrial processes and other production processes. As a result the overall plant efficiency can be increased to 90 percent or more. For example Helsingør, a 57-MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant feeding a small town north of Copenhagen, uses 88 percent of the fuel energy to produce electricity and heat.

Denmark's Wind Power

Denmark's Wind Power

A Success lesson for the NW

by Jim Duncan, Sparling

While Denmark began harvesting wind power in the 1980s, Washington's first wind project did not come on line until 2001. Denmark is about 25 percent the size of Washington, and has 3,115 MW of installed wind power; Washington has 244 MW. According to the Renewable Energy Atlas of the West, Washington has economically viable potential for about 7,100 MW of installed capacity. Why then, one wonders, is Denmark so far ahead

District Energy Systems

A district energy system takes thermal energy (heating or cooling) from one or more sources and distributes it to multiple customers through a piping distribution network. Heat is often produced naturally as a by-product of electrical generation or industrial processes, but is typically simply exhausted as waste. With a district energy system waste heat can be captured and transported to homes and offices, eliminating the need for on-site furnaces and boilers.

Malmö, Waste to Energy

The Waste to Energy plant in Malmo accepts garbage from many municipalities. Electricity goes into the electrical grid; heat is distributed to homes and business through the district energy system.

Copenhagen Windenergy

The Middelgrunden wind farm in the Copenhagen harbor is located just 1 to 2 miles off the Copenhagen waterfront, and consists of 20 wind turbines at 2 MW each. It is 50 percent owned and financed by a wind co-op of 8,300 members and 50 percent owned by the local utility. Denmark is a leader in this technology, producing more than 20% of all its energy requirements through it.

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Energy Scorecard

The Energy Scorecard is part of the documentation of a building. The seller of the property has to disclose the effective energy consumption of the building when putting it for sale. The buyer has realistic data to support his decision. It is equivalent to the gas mileage sheet car buyers in the US can see when choosing a car.

Zoom in at the scorecard