The City of Cape Town recently successfully registered its programme of activities for a series of landfill gas to energy conversion projects with the United Nations. This will assist in offsetting the City’s carbon footprint and meeting international emissions targets. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town is proud to announce that our programme of activities (PoA) for projects aiming to capture and harness the energy being produced by our landfill sites has been confirmed as meeting the requirements of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).

This programme of activities will serve as the umbrella instrument for registering landfill gas projects in Cape Town, but other municipalities and private landfill owners in South Africa could register future projects via this PoA should they so choose.

This means that all future projects in South Africa that comply with the technical and legal specifications outlined in the City’s PoA will be eligible to earn carbon credits once registered with the UNFCCC, and will thus make a significant contribution towards keeping our carbon emissions level below the target level set by the Kyoto Protocol.

The projects that fall within this PoA will dramatically reduce the amount of harmful gas that is released into the atmosphere. Landfill gas, comprised predominantly of methane and carbon dioxide, has a global warming potential approximately 25 times greater than carbon dioxide.

‘The process to have a PoA approved is complex, and requires substantial documentary evidence to be generated and provided in terms of the UNFCCC rules. We are therefore proud to have been able to do our part in facilitating sustainable development throughout South Africa.

‘In terms of the process for converting the energy, a network of pipes installed within the waste will convey the gas from a series of wells for combustion, in order to destroy the harmful gases. The gas will be combusted on-site to produce electricity which will either be exported to the South African grid supply network (offsetting the consumption of power which would otherwise have been generated by fossil fuel sources) or carried by further pipework to an adjacent industrial location for combustion to generate heat,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg.

The City is currently in talks with an industrial client who is interested in making use of landfill gas in their factory. Further developments will be announced as they arise.

‘Projects of this nature are crucial to ensuring that South Africa moves forward in a sustainable manner. By earning carbon credits, these projects create environmental capacity for future development – thus creating jobs and opportunities. This kind of responsible thinking, coupled with the remarkable expertise of our officials, shows that the City truly is doing its part to make progress possible,’ said Councillor Sonnenberg.

29 JANUARY 2015