After announcing its decision to pull funding from the remaining energy from waste (EfW) projects under procurement, Defra has produced an EfW debate guide
The purpose of this guide, according to Defra, is to provide a starting point for discussions about the role energy from waste might have in managing waste.
The Guide features topics on the waste hierarchy and states that the government’s main focus is to reduce residual waste produced.
It states, however, that energy from waste will remain important and that to maintain the energy output from less residual waste resource we will need to:
- divert more of the residual waste that does still exist away from landfill and capture the renewable energy
- continue the drive towards better, higher-efficiency energy from waste solutions.
The Guide goes on to say how energy from waste can coexist with high recycling, ultimately delivering low landfill.
“There is 13m tonnes of residual waste treatment capacity either operating or under construction in the UK, estimating around 22m tonnes capacity gap between residual waste arisings and the amount of treatment infrastructure capacity either operating or under construction”
Regarding waste infrastructure it states, “waste infrastructure has a long lifetime and care needs to be taken at the start to ensure systems can adapt to potential long term change and drive waste up the hierarchy, not constrain it.
“Flexibility of the overall approach to future change should therefore be another key consideration in any proposal.”
The Government provides a number of different financial incentives to help drive growth in energy from waste, particularly for the more novel technologies and energy outputs beyond electricity. These along with the effective use of heat have the potential to deliver higher overall efficiency and therefore deliver the Government’s goal of more energy from less waste.
According to the report, financing of energy from waste projects can be difficult with financial institutions, local authorities and waste companies all seeking to minimise their risks.
“Government has funded significant infrastructure development through the Waste Infrastructure Grant programme, which has helped ensure we are on track to meet landfill diversion targets.
“Moving forward, it continues to put significant resources into overcoming barriers to delivering further market driven investment, aimed at optimising the role of energy from waste in the hierarchy and as a source of low carbon energy.”
The Guide states that a recent report by Eunomia suggested that there is currently around 13m tonnes of residual waste treatment capacity either operating or under construction in the UK, estimating around 22m tonnes capacity gap (per annum) between residual waste arisings and the amount of treatment infrastructure capacity either operating or under construction.
“The report also suggests that this capacity gap will decrease to just under 11m tonnes (per annum) by 2020 if the waste treatment capacity that has planning consent (around 12m tonnes) reaches financial close and begins construction,” the Defra guide states.
For the full guide CLICK HERE