Investigating the possibilities of scaling up Municipal solid waste-to-energy technologies in emerging economies: a case study of Simmer and Jack Waste-to-energy technology in Germiston, Gauteng

Seshweni, Elvis Matlala
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This research investigated the barriers encountered in upscaling municipal solid WtE technology in Ekurhuleni using Simmer and Jack WtE plant as a case study. The study came about after the realisation that while African countries witnessed a “high rate of population growth due rural-urban migration, industrialisation and urbanisation as well as improvements in production processes and standards of living” (Dlamini, Simatele, and Kubanza, 2019: 249) over the past decades, perpetual generation of solid waste has become an environmental challenge. And yet, even with the establishment of infrastructure to facilitate the conversion of WtE, the uptake of renewable energy in South Africa still remains a challenge. The literature reviewed in the study demonstrated that there is a multiplicity of barriers that hamper the successful implementation of WtE projects, and these include economic, social, legal, financial, technical, political and environmental barriers. Interviews with officials in CoE also confirmed the existence of barriers of this nature in the case of Simmer and Jack plant. It is in line with these findings then that the study recommended the importance of addressing these barriers for the successful uptake of WtE projects in cities of the global South.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Sustainable Energy Efficient Cities)