By Samantha Mathewson, Nature World News.
Piles of urban solid waste in Africa could be put to good use, a new study revealed. Researchers from the European Commission Joint Research Centre have postulated that waste could be a valuable source of electricity that could power many Africans who do not have access to energy, according to a news release.
Recycling the urban waste also reduces environmental impact and increases sanitation across the country, since trash is often dumped into water bodies and nearby dump sites are routinely out of control.
For their waste-energy study, researchers analyzed average electricity consumed by residential houses in Africa in 2010 and projected that electricity production could reach 122.2 TWh (Terawatt-hours) by 2025 – a than 20 percent increase. That's enough energy to power 40 million households. Terawatt-hours are used to measure energy production and consumption. One TWh is equal to the sustained power of approximately 114 megawatts for a period of one year.