21 Aug 2014

New waste to energy technology could come to Pacific

3:38 pm on 21 August 2014

A New Zealand energy consultant says a technology which converts any kind of waste to renewable energy could be the way forward in making the Pacific region more sustainable.

Otago Polytechnic's Neville Auton will present to the United Nations Small Islands Developing States conference in Apia next month on the logistics and benefits of the technology, called pyrolysis.

Mr Auton says it uses high temperatures to break rubbish down to its organic components and create a gas which can run engines and turbines.

He says the technology would have a number of benefits.

"This is looking to remove the diesel component out of the energy generation system, it's really looking at what are the potentials for the waste. Is there product manufacture opportunities out of that waste, to generate local employment, and improve sustainability within the islands, and having positive sustainability outcomes is really part of the process."

Neville Auton says the pyrolysis equipment would cost Pacific nations between 15 and 40 million US dollars.