Olive Residue Power


The residue left after pressing olives for olive oil can be burned to generate electricity.

The olive oil industry in Australia is expanding, at least into the boutique market. Olive trees grow well in South Australia and Western Australia and do not need much water. The ideal olive residue power plant would be small and portable, and would accompany an olive press.


Electric olives

Claire Doole, WWF, 27 May 2004

Palenciana, in Spain's Andalucia region, is home to the world's first "olive power plant", established in 1995. The plant uses olive residue as fuel to generate electricity and heat. The plant currently produces enough green electricity for 27,000 households, and has since been joined by four others in the region. 

"We’ve always had the problem of what to do with the residue left over from making olive oil, which can contaminate soil and pollute the underground water system. By using it to produce green electricity, we have turned an environmental problem into an environmental solution."