Decentralized Power Generation

Turning municipal Waste into clean energy


Effective Waste management is one of the biggest challenges facing many African countries. A measurable amount of land is lost to landfills and the methane produced from decomposing waste is a potent greenhouse gas.  Costs associated with using a landfill are rising and in the near future we will have to truck waste ever farther away. Conversion of this amount of waste into power could create a new industry and the much needed jobs on the continent.

To illustrate the value of waste, it is estimated that only one kilogram of waste has a calorific value of around 10,000 kJ and can ideally replace about 0.25 liters of high-grade fuel oil. Efficient plants generate heat and power from the incineration process. The best-case scenario is one in which electricity is produced where it is needed and, likewise, where the fuel is produced. Such decentralized power generation and supply is one of the most vital future trends.

The heart of a Waste To Energy plant is a steam turbine – as SIEMENS we are a recognized global leader with cutting edge technology and solutions. We have a comprehensive steam turbines portfolio ranging from 0.5 MW to 750MW.

Generating power is not the core business for municipalities in Africa; therefore a small-scale industrial steam turbine would be a perfect match for the Waste To Energy initiative. With this understanding, we know that our customers would need reliable and low-maintenance equipment.

Morocco and Ethiopia are building Africa’s first energy plant that will convert waste into electricity. The Koshe plant in Ethiopia will incinerate 1 400 tons of waste per day. This is about 80 percent of the city’s waste. The electricity that is generated will supply Addis Ababa with 30 percent of its household electricity needs while meeting European standards on air emissions.

In November 2017, Siemens signed an agreement to join a research project for waste to energy solutions in Morocco. The demonstration unit was officially inaugurated on November 8, 2016. It is expected to process some 54 tonnes of waste per day and reach a generation capacity of up of 2.4 MW. Morocco's electricity consumption totalled 35 TWh in 2015. More than 75% of it came from fossil fuels - coal or natural gas. Nevertheless, the kingdom wants to generate 42% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020 and further lift this share to 52% in 2030.

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This edition

Issue 39