Southeast Asia’s urban population is projected to rise to nearly 400 million by 2030, requiring significant investment in waste management to cope with the increase in garbage. The growth in electricity demand is also prompting countries to more than double generation capacity by 2040.
One obvious and quick solution to these two needs is waste-to-energy, a catch-all for different technologies that allow countries to get rid of waste and generate electricity at the same time.
Traditional waste-to-energy methods like incineration tend to be unpopular with communities because of the associated health and environmental impacts.
But policymakers in Southeast Asia have looked at China, which has successfully rolled out waste-to-energy and now has the most capacity globally, and decided it is worth writing into national waste management plans. As countries decide what type of technology to use, it is vital that they learn from China’s rapid adoption.
Read the full op-ed in China Dialogue.