Wastewater Treatment Plant to Generate Power from Sewage Gas in Vienna
Siemens’ technology is being used to transform the Ebswien wastewater treatments works, the main wastewater treatment plant in Vienna, Austria, into a green power plant. The environmental project, which is expected to be completed by 2020, is the largest of its kind to be undertaken by the city of Vienna.
A range of environmental techniques, including wind power, photovoltaic energy, and solar thermal energy, will be combined with Siemens electrical energy systems and Ethernet-based communication interfaces to create a source of renewable energy and significantly reduce the energy consumption of the plant, which is currently the community’s biggest energy consumer.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Conversion to Improve Energy-Efficiency
By the time the project is completed, Ebswien is expected to generate its own energy from the use of sewage gas. It should use an annual supply of 20 million m³ of methane to produce 78 GWh of electricity and 82 GWh of thermal energy.
This includes a surplus of 15 GWh of electricity and 42 GWh of heat expected as a result of increasing production while lowering energy consumption. A particularly efficient method of reducing the water used and doubling the solid content considerably reduces energy consumption during anaerobic digestion and gas generation. The methods to be employed are predicted to save about 40,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.
Energy-efficiency is one of the main focuses of the wastewater treatment plant conversion, which is part of ‘E_OS 2020’ or Energy Optimisation Sludge Treatment 2020. To ensure successful achievement of the environmental targets, says Wolfgang Hesoun, CEO of Siemens AG Austria, Siemens has supported the city of Vienna in the development of a tailor-made solution that divides its focus among energy-efficiency, preservation of resources and sustainability, as well as smart technologies and networked systems.
Impact on Water Treatment Recruitment
Austria is already a global leader when it comes to its share of renewable energies as a proportion of total energy consumption. According to Ebswien’s director-general, Christian Gantner, the 24-million-euro conversion of the wastewater treatment plant will make a further contribution to sustainable power generation, and it is an example of the responsible use of natural resources.
In Austria, the renewable energies sector is also expected to create 174,000 jobs in the future, reflecting the rapid global growth in green jobs and careers in sustainability. Employment in environmental engineering, which includes water treatment recruitment, is expected to grow 12 per cent by 2024 – faster than for all other occupations. A projected wave of retirements and the replacement of roles in redundant industries with green or sustainable jobs is likely to prompt an executive search, and a headhunter will be looking for advanced degrees in environmental engineering among other client preferences.