Levels of electricity generated from waste are boosted

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Oct 20, 2013 - Page 3

The nation’s waste incineration plants are supplying about 3.06 billion kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy to the national grid, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said.

Technology improvements in the past decade to the nation’s 24 refuse incineration plants have helped boost the levels of electricity generated, the EPA said.

The agency said in 2001 it began conducting annual inspections of the incinerators — covering operational efficiency, on-site inspections and control evaluation.

Non-scheduled on-site inspections, random inspections on pollutants, industrial safety, educational promotion, administrative compatibility and other evolution items has led to operational and technical improvement at these plants, the agency said.

The annual treatment rate at the refuse incineration plants increased from 51.5 percent in 2001 to 97 percent last year, it said, adding that the amount treated increased from 3.9 million tonnes to 6.4 million tonnes last year.

The EPA added that income from the increased generation of 3.06 billion kWh last year reached NT$4.55 billion (US$155 million) — which was the equivalent to the electricity generated from each tonne of incinerated garbage powering a normal household for 1.6 months.

As the world is facing rapidly increasing demand for energy resources, causing prices to increase, many countries are paying more attention to energy conservation and carbon reduction.

Nations are eagerly trying to develop technologies that use alternative energy resources, the EPA said.

Among the alternative energy resources, “waste to energy” is an important technology, it said, adding that it has also invited specialists from other countries to give lectures and share their experiences with operational and managerial officials of the incineration plants.

The refuse incineration plants not only serve the functions of waste treatment, electricity generation and local environmental education, but also have the potential to transform into suppliers of low-carbon energy in the future, it added.