Paper-mill Smurfit-Kappa in Roermond, the Netherlands, wants to replace the role of natural gas with “green heat”. The paper industry is doing fine, not because of digitization of society (“paperless office”), but because retail is going online and now everything needs to be packaged, in carton, which is good news for Smurfit Kappa.
Every day no less than 110 trucks arrive at the mill to dump their load of used paper for recycling into “mother roles” of 18,000 kilo each, a process that takes 8 days. Usually paper that lands in the trash can is converted into new paper in a matter of 6 weeks.
For the production process you need a lot of warm water to produce “paper soup”. The company is thinking of pumping up hot water from a depth of no less than 7 km. Alternatively, the company is investigating the possibilities of producing paper without so much hot water. Paper recycling still requires 10% new wood, for quality reasons, acquired from Scandinavia and France.
Artist impression of non-existing above-ground Dutch volcano.
Until recently the Dutch public was not aware of the fact that The Netherlands harbored a true volcano on it’s territory, or rather under its territory, at a depth of 2 km, which explains this seemingly remarkable geographical ignorance.
This could change though as plans have emerged to use geothermal energy from the volcano, at a temperature of 140 degrees Celcius, 30 dgrees more than usual at those depths, to provide energy for the nearby island of Terschelling.
According to the plan, Terschelling is to become independent of gas and electricity from the mainland by 2020.
[source] Location Zuidwal-volcano
[duurzaamterschelling.nl] – Geothermie Terschelling
A Japanese macaque swims in a geothermal hot spring in the mountains of Japan. ow ironic that Stefan Larus Stefansson, Ambassador of Iceland to Japan, needs to tell the Japanese how big their potential for geothermal energy actually is, using his own country as an illustration. Interesting detail: most of the geothermal turbines operational in Iceland were made in Japan. 66% of the energy in Iceland comes from geothermal sources. Japan in contrast, despite having the world’s third-largest potential for geothermal energy, built its last geothermal energy plant in 1999, and all research funding from the government ceased in 2003, when the japanese government decided to put most of its cards on nuclear energy. Effectively Japan could replace 25 nuclear power stations with geothermal energy. 92 percent of houses in Iceland are heated by geothermal hot water, and heating prices are the lowest in Northern Europe.
Since the Fukushima desaster Japan is looking for alternative ways of generating energy for its economy. Geothermal energy definately is a candidate. Japan has the third largest reserves after Indonesia and the US. Currently Japan generates 535MW of geothermal energy, the eighth producer in the world. That’s 0.2% of Japan’s total output.
A volcano in Oregon is going to be used in a demonstration project for applying geothermal energy. Steam will be produced at great depths and used to generate electricity. The heat is there, open question though is whether it will be possible to establish a circulation of water in the system. Engineers are working on a new technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). Wells are going to be drilled deep into the rock, water will be pumped in and steam will return. Some concerns regarding artificial earth quakes exist. Additionally it is difficult to scale the technology. Two small EGS plants already exist in Germany and France. Participants are DoE and Google, amongst others. EGS is attractive because it vastly expands the potential for geothermal power. Currently geothermal sources are used to generate 0.3% of the electricity in the US. EGS could bump this to 10% in 50 years time. A 2008 USGS assessment found EGS throughout the West, where hot rocks are closer to the surface than in the East, has the potential to produce half the country’s electricity.