|16 November 2016|

Australia

A new study is underway in Australia to examine the feasibility of using waste from sewage and other wastes to create renewable energy.

The waste-to-energy feasibility study being undertaken by Unitywater – with the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) wants to ‘revolutionise the way we think about, and use, sewage’. It is going to look at whether waste streams, including captured and treated sewage and other wastes such as fats, oils and greases from industry and businesses like restaurants and cafes could have potential as sources of green energy.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the project was part of ARENA’s efforts to investigate the role bioenergy might play in accelerating Australia’s shift to renewable energy.

“We think there is huge potential to tap into different waste sources to produce clean sustainable, energy,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia produces around 40 million tonnes of waste annually and more than half of this is organic. The majority is unexploited, ending up in the sewer or sent to landfill.

“This study will uncover options for sewage treatment plants around Australia, particularly in regional areas, to turn this unused waste into electricity.”

Unitywater CEO George Theo added: “The exciting thing about this feasibility study is its potential to deliver practical benefits and learning, not only for Unitywater but the water industry as a whole.

“We will thoroughly investigate a concept that is scale-able and one which could be adopted by other water utilities. We are pleased to be working together with ARENA to share this knowledge.