Waste is part of our everyday lives. It’s that tissue we use, the paper towel to clean up a mess, leftovers that have gone bad, the leftover wrappings of a present, a computer that is no longer needed, or a battery that’s dead. Most of the time, this all goes into landfill. But for the past few decades, some interesting progress has been made in turning what we consider waste into energy that can be converted into electricity, effectively reducing what goes into landfill. Many different types of conversion systems have been discovered and used over the years, but essentially the process is that energy is incinerated, which is the process of combusting waste with energy recovery. In fact, modern incinerators reduce the volume of the original waste by 95-96%.
There are two types of technologies other than incineration that currently exist: thermal and non-thermal. Thermal technologies include gasification, pyrolysis, plasma arc gasification, and thermal depolymerization. Non-thermal technologies include anaerobic digestion, fermentation, and mechanical biological treatment.
So you have waste-to-energy (WtE) (or Energy-from-Waste (EfW)) project and you need to get financing for it. What now? Well you need to have your location picked out, but do you have someone to buy the energy you’ll produce?
Which brings us to the next step: you need to get an off-take agreement. What’s an off-take agreement, you ask? It’s an agreement where a third party (government/ private power and utility company) will guarantee by signature that they will buy your output for a certain amount of time in the future.
Why is that such a good thing? Because for the investor(s) it’s a guarantee of return on their investment. It’s also a guaranteed steady payment on your loan debt because the energy the solar farm produces is sold over the long term. Guaranteed income is a nice magic word that investors like to hear.
So now that you’ve got all this, the rest is really not that hard. You need to put together a good Business Plan, a Feasibility Plan, do your research on the technology you want to use and find a good manufacturer and supplier. Don’t go for what’s cheapest here; you need this to be solid and last a long time without requiring maintenance every other day.
So now what? Go and get funded! But still…
Always make sure that you make an informed decision in all cases,
All the Best,