Fossil-Fuel Free Power Plants

Sustainability Issue: Air Pollution from Coal Burning Power Plants
In the United States, coal burning power plants emit 1.7 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and are primarily responsible for climate change.  Burning coal is the top source of CO2 emissions globally and a leading factor in smog, acid rain, as well as toxic air pollution.

Sustainable Technology Solution: Fossil-Fuel Free Power Plants
A power plant in the northwest of Stockholm, Sweden has committed to only burning renewable and recycled fuels in an effort to combat CO2 emissions that lead to global warming.  Sweden is hoping to phase out fossil fuel use by the end of this decade and one method is by converting coal burning power plants to biofuels and garbage.  The aforementioned plant, which is located in Vasteras, Sweden has started to work with the Swedish-based clothing store H&M who by law, must discard any clothing that has been contaminated with mold or does not meet the countries strict restrictions on chemicals.  In 2017, the plant used 15 tons of discarded clothing from H&M.  Although, most of their garbage-based fuel is supplied from the 400,000 tons of trash from neighboring towns and trash that is imported to the plant from areas in Great Britain.  The plant currently provides energy to 50,000 households in Sweden and at its peak in 1996 it burned approximately 650,000 tons of coal.  But, just last week, the last coal carrying ship came to Vasteras to supply the plant with just enough to last until 2020 when they will completely phase out their fossil burning furnace.  They also recently added a wood-fired boiler to supplement the biofuel and trash burning units on the plant’s site.

Technology Stakeholders:

  • Power Plant Owners and Operators
  • Multinational Clothing Company
  • City Waste Management Agencies
  • Air Pollution Federal Agency
  • Air Pollution Non-profits

Implementation: 

  1. Create a sustainably-minded Public-Private Partnership between City and Multinational Corporation who manufacture clothing
  2. Collaborate with Aging Power Plant looking to incorporate new technologies
  3. Model system after plant in Vasteras, Sweden by phasing in biofuel and trash burning options with the addition of a wood-fired boiler on site.
  4. In first year of implementation set goal of 20 tons of discarded materials from the clothing manufacturer and 100 tons of municipal trash.
  5. If successful, set a goal of 10 years for full phase-out of fossil fuels.

Comment on Other Blog: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/11/24/commercial-electric-plane/#comment-1478

Sources:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-24/burning-h-m-rags-is-new-black-as-swedish-plant-ditches-coal
http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/coal-and-other-fossil-fuels/coal-air-pollution#.Whh9n7Q-dQI
https://inhabitat.com/this-swedish-power-plant-is-burning-hm-clothes-instead-of-fossil-fuels/

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