Waste-to-Energy coupled with the use of Green Hydrogen is often touted as a green-tech lifeline for some hard-to-abate heavy industries in the southern African regions.
The World Bank estimates that the annual global waste production could potentially reach 3.4 billion tons by 2050 due to rapid urbanization and population growth. For the development of sustainable and thriving cities, waste management is vital, but for some reason an untapped sector that could challenge the current state of waste and energy in South Africa.
Significant increases in consumption and demand for power with a heightened emphasis on producing energy from renewable sources are driving the global waste-to-energy agenda. Municipal solid waste burning in waste-to-energy facilities is a reliable and affordable alternative to coal power plants. Waste-to-energy has the ability to be a mighty contender in the battle of the “powers”, more specifically against coal.
In South Africa, unsustainable waste management practices affect mostly low-income developments and areas. According to the World Bank, over 90% of waste in low-income countries is disposed of in dumps or is burned unchecked. Such activities have major effects on people’s health and the environment. It goes without saying that the environmental impact of waste pollution has to be dealt with, with urgency.
Greening the Waste Sector
Waste-to-Energy can help with the reduction of the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, and at the same time, provide a source of clean energy. However, it is important to ensure that waste-to-energy systems are well-designed, properly maintained, and carefully monitored to minimise their potential environmental impact. Additionally, using waste as a feedstock for hydrogen production, for example can help reduce the amount of waste in landfills further and increase storage availability.
Choosing the right project and technology partner is an important and confusing decision to make – we understand. MEB’s professional staff can help you maximise on the benefits of waste-to-energy and effective waste management.
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