Twenty years ago, the city of Kristianstad in Sweden, home to 80,000 people, relied entirely on fossil fuels to heat homes and businesses through the long cold winters. Today, the city uses almost no fossil fuels. Instead, they’ve successfully made the transition to burning biogas, derived from an assortment of waste materials like potato peels, manure, cooking oil and animal detritus.
Kristianstad harnesses energy from other unlikely sources as well, such as gases that emanate from old landfills and sewage ponds. Organic debris like wood chips are also used.
The result: The city’s carbon dioxide emissions have been cut by one-quarter in the last decade, and its fossil fuel use is down by one-half. Could we possibly do this in the United States?
Follow this link to a recent story in the New York Times to learn more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/science/earth/11fossil.html?_r=1&emc=eta1