sábado, 23 de maio de 2009

Paper consumes a vast amount of energy?

People think paper making is a great energy consumer. In fact it was some years ago, but technology has played is role, things changes but the idea stays the same.
Looking more closely, we will see some interesting facts and figures about paper making and the usage of energy.
On average it takes 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity to produce 200kg of paper, the average amount of paper that each of us consume each year.
"The European pulp and paper industry is strongly in favour of renewable energy and has declared an intent that commits the industry to increase the share of biomass-based energy in its total primary energy consumption from 49% in 2001 to 56% in 2010"(1).
Does 500 kilowatt-hours sound a lot? Well, let´s look to other energy consumption of our day to day life. 500 kWh is equivalent to:
• Powering one computer continuously for five months
• Burning a 60w light bulb continuously for one year
• The energy consumed by a typical household leaving its electronic equipment on stand-by for a year.
This seams a bit strange when you read lots of articles saying to replace paper reading by computer reading. It is probably more the sense of modernity to use new technologies or the lobying of the computer industry.

(1) CEPI
(2) Paper & the Environment, ATS Consulting August 2007

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