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The conundrum of combustible clean energy: Sweden's history of siting district heating smokestacks in residential areas
- Brinkley, Catherine
- Energy policy 2018 v.120 pp. 526-532
- biomass, clean energy, combustion, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, heat, heating systems, land use, markets, planning, residential areas, waste incineration, Asia, Sweden
- Communities may wish to source their energy locally to improve resilience in volatile energy markets, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support regional economies. Biomass and waste incineration offer one method that has been broadly adopted in European and Asian countries, particularly in combination with district heating systems. Yet, combustion and the placement of affiliated smokestacks often pose contentious planning obstacles for local communities. Learning from Sweden's example, this research maps where smokestacks are placed in relation to land uses, finding that residential areas comprise nearly 20% of the surrounding land uses within a quarter mile of district-heating associated smokestacks. The research concludes with policy-oriented recommendations for planning district heating.