Trash turning into renewable electricity
While solar and wind power have gotten the most attention in the drive to promote renewable electricity, many states are finding success with less glamorous renewable energy sources. The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan has developed several plants designed to turn trash into fuel for power plants.
The U.S. has seen a growing number of plants making use of various parts of trash. The most common kind of such power plants generate electricity by burning the methane gas produced from the decomposition of certain kinds of trash.
Michigan alone has nine landfill gas plants owned by Waste Management and two more owned by utility company DTE Energy, one coming on line as recently as December. Waste Management plans to open another major plant in January.
Some companies have plans to condense waste into pellets that could replace coal.
While not as clean as wind and solar, trash power plants can produce renewable electricity at around 95 percent reliability and will prove reliable as long as societies produce waste.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. boasts 550 power plants using landfill gas to produce around 1,700 megawatts of electricity, spread across 46 different states.