Sweden Imports Waste From European Neighbors To Fuel Waste-To-Energy Program


A bridge in downtown Stockholm. Since its recycling program has been so successful, Sweden has been forced to import trash to power its waste-to-energy program, which provides heating and electricity.
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SWEDEN IS SO GREEN IT HAS TO IMPORT GARBAGE

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by Public Radio International

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Sweden’s successful waste-to-energy program converts household waste into energy for heating and electricity. But they’ve run into an unusual problem: they simply aren’t generating enough trash to power the incinerators, so they’ve begun importing waste from European neighbors.

When it comes to recycling, Sweden is incredibly successful. Just four percent of household waste in Sweden goes into landfills. The rest winds up either recycled or used as fuel in waste-to-energy power plants.

Burning the garbage in the incinerators generates 20 percent of Sweden’s district heating, a system of distributing heat by pumping heated water into pipes through residential and commercial buildings. It also provides electricity for a quarter of a million homes.

According to Swedish Waste Management, Sweden recovers the most energy from each ton of waste in the waste to energy plants, and energy recovery from waste incineration has increased dramatically just over the last few years.

The key to efficient heat and power production is co-generation, which minimises unnecessary loss of energy by maximising the useful applications of the surplus heat in the system. Swedish waste-to-energy plants are highly efficient as they transform more than 90 % of the energy in the incoming waste into useful heat and power.

The problem is, Sweden’s waste recycling program is too successful.

Catarina Ostlund, Senior Advisor for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency said the country is producing much less burnable waste than it needs.

“We have more capacity than the production of waste in Sweden and that is usable for incineration,” Ostlund said.

However, they’ve recently found a solution.

Sweden has recently begun to import about eight hundred thousand tons of trash from the rest of Europe per year to use in its power plants. The majority of the imported waste comes from neighboring Norway because it’s more expensive to burn the trash there and cheaper for the Norwegians to simply export their waste to Sweden.

In the arrangement, Norway pays Sweden to take the waste off their hands and Sweden also gets electricity and heat. But dioxins in the ashes of the waste byproduct are a serious environmental pollutant. Ostlund explained that there are also heavy metals captured within the ash that need to be landfilled. Those ashes are then exported to Norway.

This arrangement works particularly well for Sweden, since in Sweden the energy from the waste is needed for heat. According to Ostlund, when both heat and electricity are used, there’s much higher efficiency for power plants.

“So that’s why we have the world’s best incineration plants concerning energy efficiency. But I would say maybe in the future, this waste will be valued even more so maybe you could sell your waste because there will be a shortage of resources within the world,” Ostlund said.

Ostlund said Sweden hopes that in the future Europe will build its own plants so it can manage to take care of its own waste.

“I hope that we instead will get the waste from Italy or from Romania or Bulgaria or the Baltic countries because they landfill a lot in these countries. They don’t have any incineration plants or recycling plants, so they need to find a solution for their waste,” Ostlund said.

In fact, landfilling remains the principal way of disposal in those countries, but new waste-to-energy initiatives have been introduced in Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, and Lithuania.

It is also important, Ostlund notes, for Sweden to find ways to reduce its own waste in the future.

“This is not a long-term solution really, because we need to be better to reuse and recycle, but in the short perspective I think it’s quite a good solution,” Ostlund concluded.

You might also like:

1. The myth of Pakistan’s infinite gas reserves 2. Power trap in Pakistan 
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Energy Crisis in Pakistan


We need to respond to the clarion call to help the country overcome energy deficiency, end industrial closure and restore employment. Renewable energy is the new reality and those nations, which fail to control their carbon footprint- CO2 emissions, will be blocked from international trade towards the end of 2015. Therefore, renewable energy is more than overcoming energy deficiency. It is the next world order of trade and commerce.
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HARNESSING THE WIND ENERGY IN PAKISTAN

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by Syed Areeb Uddin

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It is often said that hope doesn’t come from calculating whether the good news is winning out over the bad. It’s simply a choice to take action.

My recent visit to Thatta revealed great tragedies and wonders of my home land. I was more shocked than amazed at the propensity of resources that Thatta alone holds and have been wondering in calculating to how much can the country actually benefit from these resources.

Starting with the Zorlu wind energy project, a wind farm established by a Turkish based Zorlu group at Jhimpir – it is said that the Gharo- Keti Bandar Wind Corridor spreading 60 km along the coastline of Sindh province and more than 170 km deep towards the land alone has a potential to generate more than 60,000 MW of electricity.

Its total installed capacity is 56.4 MW and has 5 turbines each capable of generating 1.2 MW functional since April’09 when the prime minister inaugurated the project and yet 28 remaining turbines are to be installed which are capable of producing 50.4MW energy collectively. These remaining turbines are decided to be made practical by this December!
The 1st phase of the project has become functional since June2009 and it has already started providing 6MW with its five turbines!

It is further planned that in a few years’ time the work scale will be expanded to 50Mw. This project not only serves the purpose of overcoming the energy crisis but it’s also obliging in numerous added significant ways like strengthening foreign ties with the Chinese government as it’s a collaborative work with them and secondly with Turkey as the Zorlu group is an Istanbul based company. Turkey is like a brother county to Pakistan always there to help and support, the project is just another magnanimous example of the strong tie.

Not just that, it has invited many financial investors also both foreign and local which have proportionally putted together $136 million for the project. In recognition of it, Zorlu Energy Pakistan has received the “Middle East Renewable Deal of the Year” for 2011 by Project Finance Magazine.

Attaining this prestigious award by Zorlu Energy demonstrates the ease and security of investing in the renewable energy sector in Pakistan.

FFC Company has also made its wind project in the same wind farm’s location at Jhimpir. Its plan is to install 33 turbines each able to produce 1.5 MWs, that would round up to 50MW that this project would share and it’s work is just at the last stages in the pipeline and promisingly will be beginning from this November.

This is not all, in fact much more is yet to come as Alternative energy development board (AEDB) has allocated lands to 45 more companies for the same purpose in Gharo and Jhimpir amongst which most of them will be generating 50-100MW with an exception of at least 8 companies that will be able of producing from 200-350MW. Notable names of those include United energy,3-Gorges China, Fina Enerji Turkey and NBT wind power Pakistan etc.

Its worth mentioning that the construction work is underway for both the projects and it required at least more than 400 of skilled and non-skilled labour in whose induction the local community was more preferred. Thus the wind farm serves as a major source of employment for many of the unemployed and being neglected since long habitants of Thatta.

The project’s to benefit in many of other ways. Mentioning a few like tourism – it already looks really picturesque and with time or when it gets all complete it will surely be an attraction for many visitors of not just the district but from main cities of the country and for sure will make the foreign visitors who are here for the trip of the whole country to show up at the farm also.

Apart from the fact about its being very supportive to the local community it will soon be compelling the government to improvise the infrastructure of the area and that will eventually lead to a better life style. For the officers and staff permanently deployed at the site medical facilities have also been available that’s serving the habitants around.
It’s just about realizing the available opportunities more and working over to make them profitable. Pakistan in no sense would seem as a failed state!

At least five such locations in Jhimpir and Jatti talukas have been identified by the experts for wind power energy. The locations for windmills have been identified after a thorough survey by the experts as district Thatta’s close proximity with the sea makes it ideal for the project which will enable the people living in coastal areas to avail cheap source of energy.

Using the measured wind data the annual gross energy production by an 18 MW wind farm consisting of thirty – 600 kW turbines will be 45 million kWh. Taking into account the wind turbine availability, net losses and wake effects in the wind farm the net annual energy production is estimated to 31 million kWh per year corresponding to a capacity factor of 28%.

Wind generated electricity is no different. The wind is the fuel – unlike fossil fuels it is both free and clean. It drives the turbine which generates electricity into a grid. Wind turbines are giant electrical generators, which rotate due to the wind flow and produce clean electricity. They do not require fuel, water and neither is any other kind of expenditure needed for its functioning.

Pakistan can significantly reduce its oil import bill by shifting to renewable energy and meet its rising industrial and domestic energy demands without burning fossil fuels in thermal power plants, the most expensive form of fuel.

At present oil accounts for approximately 45% of total commercial energy supply. The share of natural gas is 34% while that of hydro power remains roughly at 15%. The increase in cost of fossil fuel and the various environmental problems of large scale power generation have led to increased appreciation of the potential of electricity generation from non-conventional sources.

Pakistan has the potential to produce up to 346 GW of electricity through wind energy alone, provided we utilize the God gifted wind energy potential and more companies start their work on building the wind energy projects in the country.

If we could produce just 10% of available wind energy potential of 346 GW, i.e. 34 GW in next 15 – 20 years, Pakistan will be well ahead on the path of energy security and prosperity due to utilization of indigenous energy resource.

On way from Jhampir towards Karachi, agriculture fields kept passing across. People reported that water and irrigation issues are like never leaving from here and have ruptured much of the major economic tool of the area. Keenjhar Lake – a picturesque place with magnificent beauty seems to have got completely forgotten by the responsible. Nearly same is the case with Makli necropolis. Ages old graves carved with precious stones representing the sole culture of Sindh are noted of being subjected to theft, places being illegally occupied.

Tombs and shrines of well noted scholars are about to fall apart – the havoc like conditions are enough to say that an immediate attention if not given, Sindh may lose its very precious identities and if worked over they can turn it once again as a hub of visitors for education tourism and business purpose exactly like how when Thatta used to be the capital times back!

 

You might also like:

1. Americans and Saudis: hands off Pakistan’s pipeline please! 2. Drilling down on the Iran-Pakistan pipeline 3. The myth of Pakistan’s infinite gas reserves 4. Power trap in Pakistan 5. Pakistan’s Energy Crisis and U.S. Interests 6. Pakistan’s Energy Crisis – A Holistic Picture [in 2 parts]

Syed Areeb Uddin, originally from Thatta (Sindh) now lives in Karachi. His areas of interest are national and international politics, and as such writes about many domestic critical issues and social problems suggesting possible and simple solutions. His
articles appear in the leading English dailies of Pakistan. 
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Americans and Saudis: hands off Pakistan’s pipeline please!


Without additional energy supplies, social chaos and disruption in Pakistan lies in the months and years ahead. Electricity shortfalls sometimes reach as high as 6,000MW, meaning that 40 per cent of the demand is unmet. Daily blackouts have gutted industrial production, closed markets, and CNG is rationed in spite of a huge price hike.Power riots broke out two weeks ago in Lahore.
In October, protesters against power outages held up a train in Gujranwala, ordered passengers onto the platform, and set three coaches on fire. Under such situation, Iran’s gas is critical to avoid mass rioting and social breakdown. Should it actually come through, the proposed 56 inch diameter, 2,100-kilometres long IP pipeline would deliver a whopping 750 million cubic feet of gas per day from Iran’s South Pars gas field, located near Iran’s southern city of Asalouyeh.
This could become Pakistan’s jugular vein or, more accurately, its windpipe.
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THREATENING PAKISTAN = POOR DIPLOMACY 

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by Pervez Hoodbhoy

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Now and then, as though out of sheer boredom, the United States shoots itself in the foot and loses the occasional goodwill it creates with aid programmes. Consider the latest: Secretary Hilary Clinton says that “As we are ratcheting up pressure on Iran, it seems somewhat inexplicable that Pakistan would be trying to negotiate a pipeline with it”. Appearing before Congress, she threatened that sanctions could be imposed by the US on Pakistan’s precarious economy, and these would be “particularly damaging” and “further undermine their economic status”.

One wonders why Mrs Clinton finds Pakistan’s attempt to tap into its gas-rich neighbour “inexplicable”. In fact, there is no mystery. Half of Pakistan’s energy needs are met from gas, but only 30 per cent of gas is domestically produced. Natural gas runs the country’s electricity generating plants, powers its factories, and is used as fuel for cars, buses and trucks.

Without additional energy supplies, social chaos and disruption lies in the months and years ahead. Electricity shortfalls sometimes reach as high as 6,000MW, meaning that 40 per cent of the demand is unmet. Daily blackouts have gutted industrial production, closed markets, and CNG is rationed in spite of a huge price hike. Power riots broke out two weeks ago in Lahore. In October, protesters against power outages held up a train in Gujranwala, ordered passengers onto the platform, and set three coaches on fire.

Iran’s gas could be critical for avoiding mass rioting and social breakdown. Should it actually come through, the proposed 56 inch diameter, 2,100-kilometres long IP pipeline would deliver a whopping 750 million cubic feet of gas per day from Iran’s South Pars gas field, located near Iran’s southern city of Asalouyeh. This could become Pakistan’s jugular vein or, more accurately, its windpipe.

Expectedly, Secretary Clintons threats have drawn a strong reaction from Pakistani officials and leaders, with each trying to stand taller than the other. All this comes at a time when Pakistan-US relations are at a dangerous low.

Quite apart from everything else, threatening Pakistan is poor diplomacy because it is reacting to something that, at the moment, is no more than a possibility.

Although the pipeline project’s formal completion date is December 2014, a detailed feasibility plan is still being worked out and the source of funding is unclear. In July 2011, President Ahmadinejad has offered to fund construction of the 761 kilometres inside Pakistani territory. Iran declared at the time that it had laid the pipeline on its side to within 50 kilometres of Pakistan’s border. But the Iranian offer has to be taken with a good pinch of salt because Iran’s economic difficulties are rapidly mounting. China’s largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, has backed out from its earlier commitment. Currently the Pakistan government is negotiating with Gazprom, the Russian gas and oil giant. Nothing is clear.

 The threats to Pakistan clearly violate the principle of fairness. Let’s say that Iran is indeed a “bad guy”, and that it is wrong to trade with bad guys. But, by this logic is it okay for the US to conduct $500 billion dollars of trade with China annually, a country that it alleges – perhaps correctly – of violating human rights?

What about the planned $80 billion US arm sales to Saudi Arabia, a country that officially does not accept the right to religious freedom and treats its women abysmally? The IP gas pipeline, on the other hand, involves a piddling $1.5 billion and brings obvious advantages to Pakistan.

 US antagonism to the IP pipeline comes, of course, because of Iran’s nuclear programme. This is why India, China and Turkey are also being hectored into reducing their imports of Iranian crude oil. In 2008, US pressure forced India to pull out of the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, also known as the “Peace Pipeline”.
Suppose, for argument’s sake, Iran’s secret agenda is indeed that which the US alleges – i.e. to make nuclear weapons. If true, I find it personally regrettable. The world needs less, not more, nuclear weapons. It is in Iran’s long-term interest to shelve such ambitions and get on with improving the lives of ordinary Iranians. Yet, in all fairness, there are nine other nuclear states in the world with America’s perennial ally, Israel, being among them.

 But let us not blame the Americans alone. Another nation has now stepped in to discourage the construction of the IP pipeline. The kings and princes of Saudi Arabia – who had earlier urged the US to destroy Iran’s nuclear programme by launching military strikes and “cut off the head of the snake” – are making their presence felt here in Islamabad.

Two weeks ago, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s deputy foreign minister, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, sought to persuade Pakistan to abandon the IP pipeline and cancel electricity/oil import deals with Iran. Although details have not appeared in the press, Abdul Aziz apparently offered some kind of a financial bailout as the quid pro quo.

But Pakistan needs energy security, not more loans. The Saudi attempt to create divisions and distrust with a neighboring country is plainly insidious and deserved a riposte from Pakistan’s leaders – one no less stout than the one delivered to the Americans. The Saudi plan is just as unworkable as the TAPI pipeline, which the US is pushing as an alternative to the IP pipeline. TAPI would run through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. But with Afghanistan likely to be embroiled indefinitely in civil war after 2014, only a wild optimist can believe that a pipeline traversing its hostile and intractable terrain could provide secure oil supplies.

 It is time for the US to get real and know that countries will pursue their goals rather than those preferred by Washington. John Foster Dulles is dead, as is Ronald Reagan – strong-arm tactics have seen their day. Instead American diplomacy needs to show sensitivity, and factor in the needs of the countries it deals with. Else the U.S shall isolate itself away from a goal that is truly important, the fight against global terrorism.

File:Pervez hoodbhoy.jpeg

Hoodbhoy teaches Physics & Political Science at LUMS.  He holds a doctorate in Physics from MIT. Hoodbhoy is also a prominent environmental & social activist and regularly writes on a wide range of social, cultural and environmental issues..
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.

YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation of WoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.
We at Wonders of Pakistanuse copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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Drilling down on the Iran-Pakistan pipeline


The controversial Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline has become an increasingly problematic issue in the vacillating U.S-Pakistan relationship. The United States has strongly condemned the project, but such rhetoric seems only to have made Pakistan more determined to continue with it. An energy agreement between Iran and Pakistan would be detrimental to U.S efforts to isolate Iran and force the shutdown of its nuclear program. And while it could potentially alleviate Pakistan’s energy crisis, the proponents of the project seem more interested in defying the West than inquiring about its ‘real’ benefits.
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IP (PEACE PIPELINE) VERSUS TAPI

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by Arsla Jawaid

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The controversial Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline has become an increasingly problematic issue in the vacillating U.S-Pakistan relationship. The United States has strongly condemned the project, but such rhetoric seems only to have made Pakistan more determined to continue with it. An energy agreement between Iran and Pakistan would be detrimental to U.S efforts to isolate Iran and force the shutdown of its nuclear program. And while it could potentially alleviate Pakistan’s energy crisis, the proponents of the project seem more interested in defying the West than inquiring about its real’ benefits.

Pakistan is crippled by an energy crisis that causes power outages for hours, daily, leading to violent protests around the country, such as those in Lahore last week. Many do not have gas for heating or cooking purposes, and electricity outages affect schools, hospitals, businesses and industries, bringing an already dwindling economy to a halt. In such a scenario, Pakistan is forced to look elsewhere to meet its needs.

The IP gas pipeline is one such prospect. The idea, conceptualized in 1990 with negotiations starting in 1994, is to construct a pipeline that would pass solely between the two countries. As the prospect developed, India entered the game, and the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline — popularly known as the “Peace Pipeline”– came into existence. In 2008, however, India signed a civil nuclear power deal with the U.S and pulled out of the project; many analysts accused it of succumbing to American pressure.

On March 16, 2010, Iran and Pakistan signed an agreement on the pipeline during a meeting in the Turkish capital city of Ankara. The revised pipeline, with a projected cost of $1.5 billion, would start from the South Pars gas field in Iran’s southern city of Asalouyeh through Bandar-Abbas and Iranshahr, until it reaches Khuzdar, Balochistan. At Khuzdar, a section is planned to extend to Karachi while the rest of the pipeline would continue through Sui to Multan.

The Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline, also known as the IP pipeline (also called Peace pipeline) is a project proposed to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan. Starting from Asalouyeh (South Pars gasfield) it will pass through Iranian cities of Bandar Abbas, Iranshahr, from where it will enter Kuzdar in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. From Khuzdar a branch would spur off to Karachi and to Multan. The pipeline will carry gas provided by the  Naiona Iranian Oil Company in Iranian territory and by the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines in Pakistan. The pipeline is expected to be completedaround end 2014.

In July 2011, Iran claimed that it had almost completed 900 km of its construction of the 56 inch diameter pipeline, though this assertion remains unconfirmed. Pakistan is to lay 781 km of the pipeline in its territory, and the project is expected to be completed by December 2014. Although completion remains two years away, Pakistan views this project as a medium-term investment to pull it out of a crippling energy crisis. Iran has also expressed its commitment to alleviating Pakistan’s woes, and once operations begin it will provide 750 million cubic feet of gas per day for 25 years.

Pakistan can no longer depend on domestic resources to address its crippling energy problems. During the third Afghanistan-Pakistan-Trilateral summit held on February 16, 2012, turning to Iran, Pakistan has reiterated its commitment to the IP gas pipeline project, a 1,000-megawatt electricity transmission line, and a 100-megawatt power supply from Gwadar to meet Pakistan’s energy woes. In return, Iran has offered to enhance bilateral trade to $ 10 billion by importing specific commodities such as rice and wheat, in the following few months. But, it is difficult to predict whether such bold developments will ever actually be implemented. (more…)

The myth of Pakistan’s infinite gas reserves


Pakistan’s gas crisis is the product of decisions taken by a military leader who was short-sighted enough to announce a major policy shift based on a whimsical, anecdotal understanding of the energy sector and arrogant enough to implement it without even bothering to study the situation carefully. The  crisis has had been caused by a decision taken by the Musharraf government to begin converting much of Pakistan’s hydrocarbon-based energy production – both for transportation as well as electricity – from oil to gas. Unfortunately, Musharraf was wrong about such crucial piece of information which formed the crux of his premise. It turns out that Pakistan does not have abundant reserves of gas.
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ENERGY SCENARIO  PAKISTAN: TAKE TIME TO CRUNCH THE NUMBERS

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by Farooq Tirmizi

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Pakistan’s gas crisis is the product of decisions taken by a military leader who was short-sighted enough to announce a major policy shift based on a whimsical, anecdotal understanding of the energy sector and arrogant enough to implement it without even bothering to study the situation carefully.

This article will be unabashedly anti-Musharraf, so if you are a person who liked the former president and do not want to hear criticism of him, then this would be a good place to stop reading.

(more…)