Author: Bill Pugsley, Ottawa
The system dynamics approach has long been used to assess the many inter-linkages that exist in the integrated world of economics, environment and society, most notably by the Club of Rome in its “World Model” and “The Limits to Growth”, published in 1972. An updated version of this model to investigate at future global trends has been developed by the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome , as reported in An Overview of the Global Systems Simulator.
Today’s review article applies this approach to the waste produced by coal-fired plants in the State of Ohio to find more sustainable practices which would be both more economical and less polluting.
T21-Ohio, a System Dynamics Approach to Policy Assessment for Sustainable Development: A Waste to Profit Case Study (19 page pdf, Sustainability 2010, 2, 2814-2832, Sept. 6, 2010)
“The System Dynamics (SD) methodology allows for an integrated evaluation of policy options relating to a variety of issues that arise in complex social, managerial, economic, and ecological systems..…The strength of this approach lies in its dynamic complexity; the feedback loops within and across sectors create dynamic and integrated projections in which various components interact to produce the results presented in this study“
“growth in both traditional and alternative energy capacity will interact with many other factors that influence economic prosperity and quality of life including employment, productivity, disposable income, air and water quality, agriculture and bio-products, urban and regional land use, vehicle propulsion systems, public transportation”
“We apply T21-Ohio to analyze the broader social, economic and environmental impacts of waste to profit activities such as recycling, electricity generation from waste, and bio-fuel production in the State of Ohio“
“biomass co-firing in selected coal-fired power plants and new biomass plants could reach about 7.44% of electricity generation from renewable sources in Ohio, .. reducing emissions by 6% in 2029..”
“waste recycling results in decreased air pollution and GHG emissions from incineration, reduced hazardous waste leaching from landfills, and reduced energy consumption as a result of reduced waste and resource consumption”
‘the use of certain biomass resources, made available through converted waste, a clean and renewable energy source, could reduce power generation-related emissions, currently driven by fossil fuel consumption in thermal generation plants”
Bio: The author is a meteorologist with a background in hydrometeorology (the application of meteorology to hydrology), climate modelling, research and applications, aviation weather forecasting and services, the planning of automated observing networks and the impacts of air pollution on health