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Resources 2019, 8(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8010051

Municipal Solid Waste as a Source of Electric Power Generation in Colombia: A Techno-Economic Evaluation under Different Scenarios

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, Institución Universitaria Pascual Bravo, Faculty of Engineering, Medellín 050034, Colombia
2
Research Group in Advanced Materials and Energy (MATyER), Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano, Medellín 050013, Colombia
3
Research Group in Efficient Energy Management (GIMEL), Faculty of Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín 050010, Colombia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract

This work evaluates the techno-economic prefeasibility of waste to energy projects in Colombia using four different conversion technologies of incineration, gasification, anaerobic digestion and landfill gas. Three study cases were selected to represent typical urban centers in Colombia, which were namely Guayatá, Andes and Pasto. After feasible technologies were identified for each case, their energy recovery potential was calculated based on the mathematical models and publicly available information about the composition of the wastes produced in these three municipalities. A subsequent economic analysis was conducted by applying the incentives established in Law 1715 for projects involving non-conventional renewable energy sources. The cash flows produced by each technology in the three scenarios were evaluated to obtain the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), which was found to be influenced by the benefits of this legislation. However, the economic benefits were not significant in the small municipality of Guayatá. In turn, in Andes, a high electricity price (100 USD/MWh) would entail a positive IRR of 2.6%. In Pasto, which is the biggest city of the three, the maximum IRR of landfill gas and anaerobic digestion reached 13.59% and 14.27%, respectively. The results show that these types of projects can have positive economic results if tax and government incentives are taken into account. View Full-Text
Keywords: waste to energy; municipal solid waste; energy policies; techno-economic evaluation waste to energy; municipal solid waste; energy policies; techno-economic evaluation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Alzate, S.; Restrepo-Cuestas, B.; Jaramillo-Duque, Á. Municipal Solid Waste as a Source of Electric Power Generation in Colombia: A Techno-Economic Evaluation under Different Scenarios. Resources 2019, 8, 51.

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