11 October 2007

1000 homes to receive landfill power

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The ABC reports that the ACT Government is going to spend half a million on digging wells into the landfill to extract the gas. Apparently, the gas would power an additional 1000 homes. Currently about 3000 homes are powered this way.

It’s certainly a lot better than letting the biogas drift off into the atmosphere, but I’m not sure of how green it is, or how renewable. (Maybe it’s sort of a browny orangey green?)

Taxpayers may find the $500 000 price tag a bit steep, too. Assuming we were to spend that money on energy, would it be better to spend that on solar or wind power?

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Well, that makes a lot of sense. I guess burning it will reduce the emissions of the rubbish and get energy.

Its green power in that the methane gas is burnt releasing CO2. Methane has a global warming potential (GWP) of approx 21-22 times greater than CO2. When burnt the reduction in the GWP is approx 17. So Greenhouse gases still being released but less than what would have occurred by methane alone. I cannot remember what the reduction in Co2 emissions is for methane flaring in comparison to coal fired power, can anyone help here?

Danman_straight6_EB_Falcodore8:19 am 12 Oct 07

SA I know it (I may be wrong) most landfill facilities already collect methane gasses – I knew that Belconnen burnt it off on site.

The reason they collect – to prevent subterranean fires.

Landfills also do regular probes and temperature testing of their sites to prevent this as well. (as I know it)

Also worthy to note that most subterranean fires in landfill are as a cause of Landfill Gas Collectors – interesting read here and in particular 5.7.1

Never knew that LFG collectors were the main source of subterranean fires – and that they can burn for years before being noticed….

Woody Mann-Caruso6:23 pm 11 Oct 07

$500 a house is a bargain.

2 points.

1. They are already extracting the methane from the landfill at Mugga Lane, or at least they were. This is a commercial enterprise that the Government is now in direct competition with – several alarm bells are ringing, including the one that relates to existing infrastructure and white elephants.

2. Biogas (sic) is 100% green energy, and is regarded as completely renewable (although the pedants will point out that you need new rubbish to actually physically renew the source).

$500/home for free power from our own rotting waste?
How much would we be looking at in terms of $/home for coal\hydro\wind\solar\geothermal…?

This isn’t me outraged just asking a question.

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