Green Energy Going to Waste?


The impending carbon tax means that various industries will need to pull their carbon contribution into line or face the harsh tax penalties. While the lead up to the tax D-Day is causing some trepidation, it is also inspiring green thinking and initiatives which could in fact save this industry more than anyone knows.

The federal government has announced that local councils could be ‘wasting’ highly valued green energy that could possibly save them from being taxed.

The energy source in question is perhaps an unexpected one: methane.

While methane has had sporadic success in various industry ventures, the power of waste as an energy generator is quickly coming back into industry consciousness. Chinese engineers have recently patented and sold the plans for a commercial sewerage geothermal plant, truly bringing the concept of energy from waste back into general focus.

Now, councils are being encouraged to make the most of the methane produced in landfill as a viably marketable renewable energy form.

sewerage geothermal plant

While the carbon tax is not expected to hit small landfill sites, anything producing over 25,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year will be hit with the tax.

Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus says that while elements of the tax will affect landfill sites in order to ward off an encouragement of excessive waste, small and local sites will be protected.

“Providing an incentive to cut pollution is what the carbon price is designed to do,” Mr Dreyfus said. “In a number of cases, the potential effect on rates has been over-estimated, misrepresented or misreported.”

The concept of reaping the benefits of waste has always been strong in the green building sector. By re-purposing waste for its methane elements, landfill sites will be able to avoiding some tax costs, make a profit, and substantially offset carbon emissions.

By Tim Moore
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