We have grown costumed to think about renewable energy as energy that is produced from replenished natural sources. We rely on solar power as we know the Sun will continue to shine. We use wind turbines to produce electricity because we assume wind will continue to blow. The emphasis in renewable energy resources is, however, not so much on their naturalness but rather on their renewablness.
What if we could find a source of energy that is man-made and could fit this category? What if there was something that its presence, now and in the future, was absolute and certain almost as sunlight, and perhaps even more reliable than wind? Well, there is one. Actually there are two. It is time to rethink the definition and perception of what renewable energy sources are and expand our minds so as to include the most common man-made replenish source of energy – waste and plastics.
Waste, or more precisely Municipal Solid Waste in general, and plastics in particular are the perfect sources to produce energy. Using Co-Energy’s modules, you can use MSW and plastics to produce either fuel (i.e. diesel) or electricity, and we hope that soon enough our R&D efforts will enable the production of hydrogen, ethanol and methanol.
The quantities of waste and plastic are sky rocking, and it is safe to say that as long as mankind is here, waste and plastics will continue to be here as well. Education for wise consumption and recycling are important, and should be kept and expended. It does not contradict Co-Energy’s efforts to view waste and plastics as a source of energy. In fact, they are complementary. Let’s take for example the current reported amounts of global plastic waste generated from the packaging industry alone, without an additional ounce of waste, is 141 million metric tons. That could suffice to produce enough electricity to match 52% of the annual consumption of electricity by Germany. Think of it. For six whole months Germany could rely only on plastic waste from packaging industry as its national source of energy. This could be life changing to millions of lives around the world, especially in developing countries.
Co-Energy’s system has the ability to transform these numbers from ink to reality, while freeing the world from dependency on fossil fuel. We believe that waste and plastics are with us to stay just as much as sunlight and it’s about time to take the lemon and make it into energy. If it fits the logic of renewable energy and behaves like a source of renewable energy – waste and plastics should be considered a source of renewable energy.