A small island off the coast of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates has announced plans to use the heat from burning trash to generate electricity for roughly 200 homes. Currently, Delma Island transports its household waste to the mainland, where it is dumped in already overburdened landfills.
The process called “waste to energy,” is employed in progressive countries throughout the globe – most notably in Copenhagen, arguably Denmark’s greenest city. This new initiative will not only free up landfill space, but it will also save costs and energy associated with transporting the waste.
While solar energy has captured the UAE spotlight recently with the official opening of the Shams 1 Concentrated Solar Plant (CSP) outside of Abu Dhabi, the emirate is gradually pursuing a mixed bag of generation options that will free up its oil resources for export income.
Capturing heat energy from burning trash is just one of several options the emirate is pursuing, in addition to biofuels, wind generation and different kinds of solar.
With a capacity of one to two megawatts, the Delma Island project will be able to provide power for 200 homes. But it is also going to be used as a pilot project, from which lessons learned will be applied to an even bigger waste-to-energy plant that will be built on the mainland.
That plant is expected to power 20,000 homes, and provide considerable relief to the outlying landfills, The National reports.
The Center of Waste Management (CWM) is working with energy company Taqa to trial this technology for the first time, with special emphasis placed on ensuring that pollutants released as a byproduct of burning synthetic materials do not enter the atmosphere.
“We consider this demonstration plant a practical first step to capture lessons learnt during construction and operation phases, and benefit our announced large-scale project to convert a million tonnes of municipal solid waste per year into 100MW of alternative power,” said Dr Saif Al Sayari, head of Taqa’s energy solutions division.
Yet another forward-thinking project coming out of Abu Dhabi, which is far and away the Arab World’s leader in clean tech solutions.
:: The National
Image of burning trash, Shutterstock