Sustainable waste management and waste to energy : Valuation of energy potential of MSW in the Greater Bay Area of China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number112857
Journal / PublicationEnergy Policy
Online published19 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


The increasing amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) is not only a challenge to our society, but also an opportunity for regional sustainable development. In this paper, we estimate the energy potential of waste through two different waste disposal methods, landfills and incineration, by the years 2030 and 2060, using the Greater Bay Area of China as an example. Also, we estimate the carbon dioxide emission reductions by energy recovery through the two disposal methods. In this paper, a waste generation model and the IPCC default method are used. Our results show that the maximum potential of electricity production from MSW for the GBA could reach 31,346 GWh by 2030 and 77,748 GWh by 2060. Based on these results, we discuss the differences in energy generation efficiency among cities and offer advice to policy makers to mitigate the gap. We suggest that incineration is preferrable compared to landfill from both aspects of energy recovery and climate concern. Furthermore, municipal governments should accelerate waste classification to increase the heating value of MSW in order to increase efficiency.

Research Area(s)

  • Greater bay area of China, Sustainable waste management, Waste to energy

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