Human beings have been a great predator of this earth, consuming all they could find for their own technological advancements. Water, coal, and trees - everything has been blindly consumed by us in pursuit of our desire to achieve more. It was only until recently that we started realizing the level of destruction we have been causing to our planet. The fact that the earth is running out of fossil fuels at such an alarming rate has finally opened our eyes to the idea of sustainability.
The Earlier Forms of Sustainability
One of the earliest sustainable ideas that truly shook the world was the use of solar cells to generate electricity. These collections of small silicon cells could gain heat from the sun and turn it into electricity for our daily use. This gave way to ideas to use other sources of energy, like water and wind, to generate electricity as well.
Lately, however, a new idea has been taking shape. This one is related to the use of animal manure to power homes, and we might just see Finnish homes being powered by horse manure very soon.
Animal Manure to Electricity
Manure can prove to be a very reliable source of clean electrical and heat energy, if processed properly. There is so much of this material available to us that countries like Finland are hoping that using horse manure could soon become a viable way to power Finnish homes.
According to Fortum, three horses can produce enough collective waste in a year to heat one full family home for a full year. Based on those numbers, the Finnish government is hoping to use the waste of almost 77,000 Finnish horses to power more than 20,000 houses every year. The impact of those numbers becomes so much bigger when we start realizing the fact that all of these houses will have been powered without burning any fossil fuels.
The Added Advantage of Burning Manure
Powering houses with horse manure sounds pretty good as it is, but it also has an added advantage of solving the problem associated with the disposal of animal manure.
The best use, up until now, of this horse manure was as a fertilizer in fields. Recently, however, its use in those fields which drain into waterways had been banned.
The only way to dispose of horse manure other than this was to throw it into landfills. Finland has issued a ban on doing that as well, effective from next year. By generating energy from the horse manure, it is not only a positive step towards helping the environment but it also seems to be one of the only ways to dispose of the waste.
This decision to use horse manure to power Finnish homes has been approved by the government because they want to stop the use of coal for generation of energy. They also want to cut their current oil imports into half. Using horse manure that is otherwise hard to dispose of, has provided Finland with a very viable alternative to satisfy its energy needs.
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