Friday, June 27, 2008

Sweden boosting alternative energy intake


A couple eco news blips show that Sweden is boosting its wind and ethanol intake. First up, Sweden's Sekab just signed a deal with Brazilian ethanol exporters Cosan, Guarani, NovAmerica and Alcoeste to ship 115 million liters of anhydrous ethanol. Keeping up with the forward thinking Sweden tends to exemplify, the ethanol is manufactured according to strict sustainable social and environmental standards, including rights and safety measures for all employees in accordance with UN Guidelines, ecological considerations in accordance with UNICAs environmental initiative, and zero tolerance for felling of rainforest or slave labor.

Purchasing ethanol from so far away may seem a little counter-intuitive, but Anders Fredikson, VP of Sekab, says that this sustainable ethanol will reduce CO2 emissions from farming, production and transportation to Sweden by 85% compared with petrol. Plus, mills will receive 5-10% more for their traceable product than mills that do not adhere to the sustainability guidelines. Half of the 800 million liters of ethanol consumed by Sweden per year is supplied by Brazil, so going with sustainable ethanol will make a significant impact.

And so will wind farms. They're currently working on putting up a massive land-based wind farm with a capacity of between 3 and 3.5 GW, with the 2 MW turbines to come from Enercon and Markbygden Vind AB. The project starts this fall and is to be in place by 2020. The farm will really be more of a collective. Covering about 173 square miles, a series of interconnected farms will house the turbines.

Sweden is pretty good at monitoring their impact and putting reigns on things that leave big footprints. So I'm glad to see them taking a few more steps towards sustainability both in what they bring in to the country and in what they create themselves.

Via Treehugger, Reuters, RenewableEnergyWorld

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