April 2017

APAC / April 2017 29 A Whale of an Innovation Available at Climate Scale Finds Global Need g The capital requirements though considerable are comparatively low, especially when acknowledging the financial cost to address the problem of age-ing infrastructure (simply to maintain status quo) is estimated at some USD200 Billion each year (UNESCO 2015). The question is not ‘whether such a System Change is necessary or would work’ in the fight against Climate Change, but moreso ‘can we make the leap to a new paradigm as a responsible Climate Action?’ The determinable global benefits from such a System Change are eco- socially profound. The energy content of (wastewater) sludge is greater than oil shale or tar sand. TEXACO R&D 1991 Emission based estimates (UNEP 1998) determine there is enough energy-rich ‘Waste’ contained by ‘wastewater’ to yield a greenhouse benefit of some 3.34 billion tonnes of CO2 avoided annually (Vs global emission of 9.50 billion tonnes, US EPA 2011) to reduce CO2 loading on oceanic ecosystems by one-third. Resulting cleaner ‘Water’ containing free (trace amounts of) fertilizer would supply one-third of global water for agriculture (UN, UNESCO and FAO). Electricity generation potential (UNEP 1998) estimate this renewable ‘waste’ to yield around 583 billion kilowatts of useful power (Vs a global demand of 23,322 billion kilowatts, IEA 2013), enough to power more than 100 million homes. Indicating the amount of useful energy that can be reclaimed from ‘wastewater’, though just 2.5% of global demand, is higher than the combined total of 2% from wind, solar, geothermal and biomass (REN21 2014). Yet unlike non-renewables, ‘wastewater’ is found where communities reside, which means it could efficiently power the transport industry to encourage the move from fossil fuels. To help end marine polution please email [email protected] or telephone+61 (0) 8 8354 4511

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