Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant

China Creating World’s Largest Waste-To-Energy Plant — Will Be Topped With Solar Panels Making It A Solar-Powered Structure

Internationally, many countries are taking the advice of the green community to implement more clean energy technology for their power needs. One country on the forefront of such a transition is China. Unfortunately, China’s progressive direction with green technology is a product of their circumstances. For the longest time, China depended thoroughly on fossil fuels, not caring about the impact its wastes would have not only on the environment, but to them as well. As a result, Chinese cities, like Taiyuan and Beijing, are among the ten cities in the world with the most polluted air. Actually, seven of those ten cities are in China.

Because of their past actions, the Chinese are taking drastic measures to survive in such dangerous conditions which includes driving bans to limit the production of carbon and buying bottled fresh air for breathing. In the long run, they want to cut their dependence on fossil fuels and clean their pollution situation. Therefore, China is building the world’s largest waste-to-energy plant. It will also be topped with solar panels making it a solar-powered structure.


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China’s largest waste-to-energy plant, which is set to become the world’s largest, is the brainchild of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and Gottlieb Paludan Architects. Both parties entered together in a competition to design such a building to be built in the mountainous outskirts of Shenzhen, China, as reported by Inhabitat. According to the architect firms’ design, the Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant is a single, circular structure that consists of auxiliary buildings and industrial facilities. It is simplified in design to minimize a building footprint and amount of site excavation required. Two-thirds of the 66,000-square-meter roof will be covered with solar panels, while the remainder will be used for green roofs, water collection, recycling systems, and skylights. It is also expected to incinerate 5,000 tons of waste per day which is the equivalent of a third of the waste produced by Shenzhen citizens per year. That means in just three days, the Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy plant would have taken care of all the waste the city makes annually.

One cool feature the architect firms added to the Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant is it being visitor-friendly. This was made so it could be used as a learning center for waste management.

“The plant is intended to showcase the Waste-to-Energy production as an important technical process that is geared to deal with the issues of growing waste, as well as the issue of finding more environmentally friendly ways of generating electricity.

At the same time visitors become informed on the challenge of the growing amounts of waste we produce every day and are also educated on initiatives on how to reduce their own amount of daily waste.”

To help push public education of waste management, the visitor experience is integrated into the very design of the building. A panorama discovery path, similar to most in museums, will be taken into account during the building process.

As of now, there is no set timetable for the building of the Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant. However, it is estimated such a project would take between two to six years to complete. Also, the fact that the upcoming project is labeled “East” means there is the possibility of one or three more plants being built, one for each geographical direction.

[Image via Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects]

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