Achieving Sustainability Through Multiple Systems

Braås small-scale heat plant in Växjö

A small wood-fueled heating plant in Växjö.

Creating a sustainable city depends on optimizing multiple systems. It doesn’t happen with tackling just one issue.

Here’s a BuildingGreen post from Alex at about “Europe’s greenest city.” Växjö, pop. 61,000, set a goal to be independent of fossil fuels by 2030. The city has addressed energy needs and pollution with several approaches.

A biomass combined heat and power plant burns wood chips sourced locally. The plant serves 6,500 customers with heat delivered via insulated hot-water pipes, and provides electricity to 29,000 customers. The city’s population is roughly 61,000 people. More in the Wikipedia entry.

This all reminds me of what  CCLEP is doing on Minnesota’s north shore. With projects devoted to wind, solar, district heating, transportation, and energy efficiency, CCLEP is figuring out what works. It often takes a hefty investment in infrastructure up front, but the effort should pay off over time, and pollution should be more easily minimized.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably with

  • green building
  • permaculture
  • green cities