Determination of the potential for generation of electricity from municipal solid waste in Zambia

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Kombe, Shakalita Dimas
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The University of Zambia
The economic growth and industrial development of any county requires a drive from energy hence the industrial development of any nation is dependent on its energy supply. Demand for energy in Zambia has been rising due to robust GDP growth of more than 6 percent per year for the past decade in the country. With a rapidly growing population and some signs of economic growth, the country is unable to meet its electricity demand. Zambia was faced with a deficit of 560 megawatts in its energy supply because of unusually low water levels in the Kariba Dam. The objectives of the research included the quantification of the available municipal solid waste in the major cities which included Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe and Livingstone and determining its contribution to electricity generation, reviewing and surveying of technologies to ascertain a suitable type for the country and lastly to determine the theoretical potential and compare to the actual potential for generating electricity from municipal solid waste. The method for primary data collection involved interviews, questionnaires and survey of previous research. Secondary data was acquired from utilisation of formulas for population prediction, Energy potential utilising tonnage and calorific value as well as levelised cost of Energy. The study revealed that the major cities have the potential to generate electricity from the annual municipal solid waste collected. The average energy potentials for Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe and Livingstone were 4.16TWh, 0.73TWh, 0.82TWh and 0.16TWh respectively. The percentage deviations from the theoretical potential were ranging from 74 to 86 percent. Project evaluation concentrated on gasification, combustion and anaerobic digestion by utilising the levelised cost of energy for each technology. Anaerobic digestion was the suitable option for the country. The research revealed that the available resource of municipal solid waste can be used as an alternative energy source for electricity production. Key words: Municipal Solid Waste, Gasification, Incineration, Anaerobic Digestion, Calorific Value.
Municipal solid waste--Zambia , Solid waste--Energy production--Zambia