The business case for biogas from solid waste in the Western Cape

The business case for biogas from solid waste in the Western Cape report showcases 5 of the 21 biogas projects currently in existence or being planned. General requirements for success was identified: 

  • Guarantee of consistent feedstock quantity and quality
  • Reduced waste management costs
  • Supplementation of electrical and thermal energy used on-site

Additionally, the economies of scale and cost of managing the digestate stream are key factors that influence viability.

To examine the business case drivers, two business cases were modelled. The analysis suggests that:

       1. Small scale commercial biogas facilities (<50 kWe) are currently not financially viable for the     

           generation of electricity.  

       2. Medium scale (0 kWe to 1MW) biogas facilities at an abattoir, at the middle to high end of the size

           range, are financially viable. This is due to high waste management costs and energy demand on‑site.

The business cases also highlighted that waste management costs have a stronger influence on the financial viability of a facility than energy costs.

The full report is available on the GreenCape website.

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