South Africa’s waste-to-energy sector could grow 10.5% year-on-year up until 2014, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan.

And the trend might be seen elsewhere around the world where waste management creates a growing problem.

Frost & Sullivan’s South African Waste-to-Energy Market analysis, part of the Environmental Growth Partnership Services programme, shows the sector earned $65.2m in revenues in 2007.

Waste-to-energy conversion is starting to become more important for waste management in South Africa.

Frost & Sullivan research analyst Derrick Chikanga said the steep fall in landfill sites and rising waste material volumes have forced countries like South Africa to create sustainable and economical solutions to manage waste.

“Waste-to-energy generation can play a pivotal role in alleviating the pressure on landfills and the disposal of any waste material that is not recyclable in South Africa,” Chikanga said.

South Africa’s waste-to-energy sector, however, faces certain obstacles including opposition from local communities worried about the impact of emissions on health and from environmentalists strongly against the incineration of any waste material.

Furthermore, low electricity costs and high capital investment needed in waste-to-energy plants have resulted in limited incentives for energy generated from waste.