Greening the East Electricity Grid with renewable resources

This project captures the methane emissions from a landfill and uses it for clean power generation, improving the lives of locals and contributing to sustainable development in China.

The context

In China, more than 80% of total electricity is generated from coal-based power plants. With China's growing cities and economies, not only is the supply of energy and goods becoming a logistical challenge, but so is its disposal and the implications of growing landfill. One example of this issue is the decomposition of organic materials in landfills, which generates large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times stronger than CO2 .

The project

To keep methane from damaging our climate and to make use of its potential as a sustainable energy source, this project has set up a landfill gas collection system to manage both solid waste disposal and local energy supply in a sustainable way. The landfill is covered, and via wells and pipes the captured methane is then fed into gas processing systems and finally burnt in four incineration units, each with an installed capacity of 1.25 MW. In the end, the generated electricity is fed into the grid to supply the inhabitants of Suzhou with clean, non-fossil energy.

The benefits

Beyond contributing to climate action, this project benefits local communities in a range of ways. The project has created 20 regular employment positions in the plant operation and during the construction period, up to 54 people were employed. The project owner offers jobs for local people and all workers receive regular training. Trained local employees had the opportunity to exchange experiences with representatives from Australia and New Zealand, to learn from each other and support international technology exchange. The project owner has also provided funding for a Master course of Engineering with the School of Environmental Science and Engineering of Qinghua and a scholarship program for the local business school to support higher education in the region.

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