Clean Energy from Dirty Waste: Algeria’s Incinerator Exports Generate Power

Algeria, a leader in natural gas production, is now turning waste into energy by exporting energy generated from incinerators. This groundbreaking initiative tackles two critical challenges: waste management and energy security.

How does it work?

Modern incinerators in Algeria utilize the heat of combustion to generate steam, which drives turbines connected to electrical generators. This process essentially transforms dirty waste into electricity – clean energy replacing fossil fuels. Some plants even capture carbon dioxide emissions, leading to further environmental benefits.

Positive Impacts:

This innovative approach offers multiple advantages for Algeria:

  • Energy generation: Expands electricity supply, strengthening energy independence.
  • Waste management: Dips landfill dependency, reducing methane emissions and improving air quality.
  • Job creation: Generates new opportunities in waste management and energy generation sectors.
  • Foreign currency earnings: Potential for significant export earnings from electricity sales.

The Algerian Model:

Algeria’s first waste-to-energy plant, with a capacity of 100MW, was completed in 2022. The country plans to build several more plants in collaboration with foreign investors, targeting an annual capacity of 1.5GW by 2030.

Countries Importing Algerian Electricity:

European nations facing ambitious renewable energy targets are keen to import this clean energy. Italy, for example, has signed a deal to import 400MW of electricity from Algeria.


1. What types of waste are incinerated?

Incineration plants in Algeria primarily handle household and agricultural waste.

2. What are the environmental benefits of this technology?

Incineration reduces landfill methane emissions and captures and reuses carbon dioxide, mitigating greenhouse gas impact.

3. How much electricity can Algeria potentially export?

Algeria estimates it can export up to 3GW of electricity generated from incineration in the future.

4. What are the potential challenges in implementing this technology?

Building and maintaining these plants requires significant investment and technical expertise. Social and environmental concerns related to air pollution and waste management must be addressed.

5. What is the long-term vision for waste management in Algeria?

Algeria aims to achieve a circular economy where waste is minimized through reuse, recycling, and renewable energy production.


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