Who says that garbage can’t be used to create energy, including electricity? The same garbage
that created eyesores like the Tel Aviv Garbage Mountain, where Israel hopes to build the Middle East’s largest recycling plant will also be used to create power from natural gas.
Energy Industries, a company which specializes in converting energy from plants and other organic material, was awarded a contract to construct a plant in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city, to create electric power from natural gas extracted from a large landfill.
The NIS 20 Million ($ 5,555,000) project will be carried out in conjunction with commitments made by Western countries during the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, that went into effect in February, 2005. The aim of the Kyoto Protocol was to reduce greenhouse gasses in different parts of the world; including Mid East CO2 emitting countries like Qatar.
The use of methane gas produced by large landfills is one of many ideas as a way of reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Zion Suki, Energy Company’s General Manager, said that the project will involve doing test drills in the landfill, left unplanned for decades, to determine the amount of available gas supplies that can be obtained from it. “The landfill was unplanned; therefore, there is no way of knowing how much gas reserves might be available. We will only know by conducting test drilling to determine this,” says Suki.
Suki adds that knowledge gained in this project will be used in similar projects in other countries. In addition to projects involving uses for natural gas created in landfills, Energy Industries has been involved in designing and building energy-conserving systems that utilize alternative energy sources such as solar energy, establishing energy enterprises and institutions; and creating unique heating solutions for greenhouses and heating systems.
With the future of the Kyoto Protocol still in doubt, following the 2012 COP 17 Climate Change Conference in Durban, S.A., one can only wonder if projects like this one in Ghana will help reverse the ongoing results of climate change. According to last week’s UN report, 2012 showed the highest level of greenhouse emissions rates on record. Looks like things will be getting worse before they get better.
More on Kyoto Protocol and creating energy from waste products:
Photos of Kumasi landfill: Energy Industries